Q. How did you get into photography/what is your background?
When I was around 18 I had no real interests apart from playing in punk bands, playing gigs and DJing parties and night clubs but I needed something to do between all these things to actually make some money to live… I applied for a bunch of jobs, one of which was as a photographers assistant at a commercial photographers. I trained as a commercial photographer for 5 years, starting with large format 5x4 film cameras and medium format hasselblads, then digital backs then dSLR’s. The boss retired and I went to uni to do a graphic design degree and used photography as my main medium borrowing cameras whenever i could. I left uni and moved to Birmingham to be a designer. I realised how much the company were spending on outsourcing so I started a photography department. Product photography, specialising in watches is my day job but always having access to a camera I’d never bought one or owned my own until last year when a friend asked me to photograph her wedding and I thought I’d have a go. the week I got a canon 500D my band were playing so I took the camera along to the gig to photograph the other bands and quite enjoyed it. from there I just took it with me everywhere and just started shooting.
Q. How would you describe your style of photography?
My motto is “point, shoot, hope…”. After working as a product photographer and training to be precise while using lots of lighting set ups, I enjoy just getting to somewhere, seeing what the lighting is like and going from there. I enjoy long exposures, movement, flash, available light, lens filters and having fun. I like to post produce as I used to enjoy cross processing and using different films, I see it as a natural progression from the dark room. I know there are a lot of people that swear by film still but after 5 years of 3 trips a day to the processors not knowing if the 8 shots of the day have turned out correct there’s no love lost where that’s concerned! I guess I like my shots to be slightly whimsical and show the viewer something extra than what they might see in real life.
Q. What equipment do you use?
I’m a bit of a canon fan boy nowadays, a 1Ds III in the studio, a 60D for weddings and location and a 500D for wondering around with. I buy whatever equipment I can afford, loads of lenses, flash guns, lens filters, lights, reflectors and daft add-ons that can add some sort of creative twist to any situation
Q. Who/what has influenced your work?
The first photographer that I assisted was a bastard, but I am eternally grateful for everything he taught me, his precision was unparalleled in studio environments although his manner left a lot to be desired. I love a lot of design based photography like Alexander Rodchenko and Josef Müller-Brockmann but I’m addicted to buying photography books and trying to work out how photographers light their shots. I guess from the younger photographers I enjoy the work of Tom Barnes and my good friend Joe Watson from the band Attack! Vipers! Check out his work and his rad music! then my band… Cannons And Tanks, obviously ;)
Q. Do you have any ideas on how photography in Birmingham can be developed or ideas for events/projects?
I’ve been a little scared to come to the meets as I don’t know anyone really and don’t have anyone to go with, I guess I’d like there to be a little club or get together on a Sunday afternoon where everyone can come and meet similar people in the same situation :D
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