Q. How did you get into photography/what is your background?
During my school years I was always artistic and musical, I also enjoyed design. I eventually got into photography when I was eighteen and at art school. I remember being taught about the basics of photography along with learning about the great photographers, such as Henri Cartier Bresson, Richard Avedon and Robert Frank. I passed my course and that was it I stopped, I put down my cameras, I had lost my passion, motivation and direction. So I went travelling for a few years, during this time I ended up working in hotels in the French Alps. Washing pots in a kitchen at night so that I could snowboard during the day. It was through snowboarding that I got back into photography, as the videos and magazines at the time were very inspirational and they were pushing their boundaries.
I returned to the UK and to education after seven years of doing this and that, I started a degree at University of Worcester. My time on the course felt like I was jumping through hoops just to get the grades at times, however it allowed me to meet some great photographers and it helped me find my passion, motivation and direction again. During my second year at university I started taking photographs of bands, this escalated fairly rapidly until I was photographing some fairly large acts at Academy in Birmingham and at the LG Arena, this led me onto shooting for a variety of websites and magazines. Whilst at art school I had also studied fashion design so it was only natural that I began to develop my fashion photography during my degree, this is an area that I’m keen to pursue and develop.
Cut to now, I’m a working photographer, I contribute to websites, magazines and brands with my music photos. I’m also currently working on developing a solid and cohesive fashion portfolio, something which takes great time and execution. So if anyone out there that wants to collaborate. Fashion designers, make up artists, models, hair stylists then get in touch.
Q. How would you describe your style of photography?
My music photography is slightly different than most as I approach each gig from the perspective of a fan. I try to find an angle that most other won’t think of. I’d describe my fashion work as risky, art driven and elegant, with a hint of attitude.
Q. What equipment do you use?
Most of my gear is Canon although I use Nikon every now an then. I mostly use a Canon 50D, Canon 24-70mm 2.8 L, Canon 17-40mm 4L, Canon 50mm 1.4, speedlites and Nikon wise I use Nikon D3, Nikon 70-200mm 2.8 and Nikon 24-70mm 2.8. I also use Elinchrom Quadra lights and Macs.
Q. Who/What has influenced your work?
I adore photographers such as Marion Testino, Richard Avedon, Robert Frank and David Bailey they’re images are just timeless. I equally like and dislike the brash and unforgiving work of Terry Richardson, Rankin and Perou. A dated as they are I have a love for David La Chappele’s tongue in cheek style and Annie Leibovitz’s beautifully muted and elegant tones. Then I like the artistic qualities of some smaller photographers such as Matthew Preistley, Paolo Roversi and Sebastian Kim. Jim Marshall and Pennie Smith are both big influences on my music work.
Tom Hoops and Tony Wooliscroft have both been very kind with helping me out with advice along the way, I’m sure I wouldn’t be half the photographer I am with those two and their nuggets of info. I have taken great solace in Ken Robinson’s approach to creativity, his quote ”If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original’ is something that I try to keep in mind whenever I’m working.
Two friends that keep pushing me are Sam Roberts and James Whitty, both very talented and they keep me on my toes.
I find it useful to also take inspiration fro outside of photography as this helps develop and breed new ideas, at the moment I’m really intrigued by Francis Bacon, Roy Lichtenstein and Faile. It’ll be interesting to see how I use that in my work.
Q. Do you have any ideas on how photography in Birmingham can be developed or ideas for events/projects?
I think the best thing would be to arrange for a bunch of picture editors, art buyers from various agencies/magazine etc to visit and the photographers can get advice on their portfolios etc.
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