I've been taking photographs since I was five years old. My first camera was a Kodak Brownie 127. My nana gave it to me. It was a first edition model manufactured sometime in the 1950s and my dad would develop and print my shots in his attic darkroom. That was the beginning of a lifelong love of photography.
After studying English and Computing at university, I worked in the IT industry until the digital photography revolution allowed me to start a new career using my skills with both cameras and computers. Mine is a story of passion becoming profession.
Today I shoot with a range of Canon DSLRs and Fujifilm and Sony mirrorless cameras at resolutions of up to 50 million pixels, capturing images of superb clarity. I have a lens for every situation and a wireless lighting system that allows me to work almost anywhere. The world is my studio.
Over the years I have come to the conclusion that great photographs are the result of three factors: experience, equipment and time. The first two I bring to the table, the third comes from working closely with my clients to establish their expectations and determine the best way to meet them.
This web site presents a collection of photographs that are typical of my work. If you like what you see here, then you'll like what I can do for you.
Whilst I love to be on location taking environmental portraits of my clients, there are certain advantages to working in studio conditions. In the studio, distractions are not an issue, weather is not a problem, time of day is irrelevant and everyone's needs can be accommodated.
I typically spend a couple of hours on a studio shoot. It takes time for some people to feel comfortable in front of the camera and I like to chat with my subjects to get a sense of who they are and to help them relax and enjoy the process – having your photograph taken should be fun, not stressful.
I start by shooting some basic poses that help my clients get used to following my directions – “chin up, relax your hands, shift your weight onto your back foot” – soon we're working in harmony and I can progress through the shotlist I've prepared for that session.
When a shot catches my eye I'll show it to the client to see if I'm heading in the right direction to get images that they'll love. I aim to build up trust between myself and my subjects so that if something bothers them about their apperance they feel comfortable telling me and so that when I tell them they look great in a photo they believe me.
My lighting system is wireless and portable, allowing me to turn almost any space into a photographic studio. Working in a client's home is particularly appropriate when photographing babies. Home is where a baby is most likely to be comfortable and relaxed and without the constraint of studio time I can work to baby's schedule to get the perfect shot.
I love location photography, it's great for capturing images of people at work and play, where the surroundings draw their attention away from the camera, allowing them to relax and let their true self shine through. The best studio lighting in the world can't compare with the golden light of a summer sunrise or an autumn evening and no studio scene can truly recreate the beauty of the natural world.
There are a few things for me to consider when organising a location shoot. Firstly, is the location photogenic? If it's in the countryside, are there flowers, trees, woodlands, streams, beautiful views? If it's in a built-up area, are there interesting buildings and architectural features? Secondly, is it appropriate for the time of year? There's no point picking a muddy or water-logged location unless the client wants to be photographed in their wellies. Thirdly, are there any distractions? Will there be other people around, might we be in the way, could there be other events taking place and if so, will that be a problem? Fourthly, are we allowed to take photographs there? Some locations do not permit commercial photography without prior consent.
Simple – we walk, we talk, I shoot. Sometimes I'll be close-at-hand, offering direction to help me get the shot I want. Other times I'll be working at a distance with a long lens, capturing the natural interaction of people and place. I am to make the experience relaxed and fun, we're not in a hurry, thoughtful photography takes time.
I have never wanted to limit myself to one genre of photography. I enjoy the challenge and diversity that comes from working in different places with different people every week. I am available to photograph all kinds of events, both personal and commercial, from family celebrations and gatherings to corporate hospitality and team building days, from award ceremonies to trade shows and performing arts to sporting competitions.
I liaise with my clients to ensure I have a full understanding of the coverage they want of their event. I scout the venue, either beforehand or on the day, to identify the best vantage points from which to get good shots without being in the way. At outdoor events I constantly monitor the direction of the light and reposition myself when necessary. I aim to take photographs that emphasise the subject with as few distractions in the background of the images as possible.
I take multiple cameras and lenses to every event so that I can work in any space and lighting conditions and so that equipment failure never stops me from getting the shot.
When I'm not being paid to take photographs I make the most of every opportunity to get out and about with a camera to capture the world around me.
From rural to urban landscapes and panoramic vistas to macro close-ups, if something catches my eye I will stop and shoot. Where no copyright issues exist, I sell prints of these images and many have been purchased by clients who were looking for artwork for their home or workplace.
I take commissions from customers who would like a photograph of a specific landscape, whether it's their own home and garden or a place that holds special meaning for them.
For those who want something more than a photograph, something that looks like it was hand-painted, I offer a photographic art service, taking a digital photograph and then converting it to one of many artistic formats, including water-colour, oil-painting, pencil sketch and ink drawing.
Alternatively, I can add complex lighting effects like fire and smoke to create a dramatic, atmospheric image.
These artworks look great as large format prints, especially on canvas or acrylic, and make a great focal point for any workplace or living space.
I take bookings for daytime, evening and weekend shoots. I only book one shoot per day in order to give clients my undivided attention.
I'm based in the market town of Melksham in Wiltshire. I hire rooms locally to use as my photographic studio in a modern, spacious building which has its own car park and is accessible to all.
My lighting system is wireless and portable, allowing me to turn almost any space into a photographic studio. For clients who want me to work at their venue, I liaise in advance to ensure that the location is suitable. The minimum space I need is 4m by 4m (about 13 feet).
I aim to supply proofs within a week of a photography session. A proof is a small, watermarked image, straight-off the camera with no colour or lighting correction. Proofs simply allow clients to choose their favourite photographs from the shoot. Every image that is purchased is polished to perfection before being delivered. Proofs are uploaded to a shared folder and a link is emailed to the client.
Every job is different. Once I know exactly what a client is looking for I produce a fixed-price quote that covers everything they've asked for. I don't hide costs from my clients and I don't pressure them into spending more after the shoot.