I trained at art college and have always worked in the field of art and design. Photography is a huge passion and I love creating new images and products in new and exciting ways.
I was born, bred and currently reside in Southampton, England – home of the Titanic, Mr Kipling Cakes and Benny Hill! The seaside of the south coast influences a lot of my work (as do the aforementioned cakes).
I use a variety of equipment in my photographic work, from vintage Polaroids and toy plastic camera’s to the latest digital SLR cameras. I love to experiment with both traditional and alternative techniques and write about all aspects of photography.
How it all started
I’ve always been into photography. As a teenager I used my Dads old photographic equipment and spent hours in my rigged-up darkroom/den (aka ‘the garage’). I had to move all the gear whenever anyone needed access to the chest freezer, but it was fun none-the-less. I carried on with photography at art college but after that my attentions slowly moved away from photography as the job of ‘being a grown up’ took over. Silly me.
The new millennium saw my first digital camera – I was a web designer by now and into all things digital. It was a Kodak point-and-shoot and it had a whole ONE megapixel! All the fun I remembered from my youth came flooding back. By 2003 I was besotted and so invested every penny I had into a Canon 300D, and that was it – I was totally hooked again.
Re-igniting my love affair with film
I get to use Photoshop full-time for my day job; it’s meant I’ve become a dab-hand at the post-production side of photography. One day I was working on a photograph, using every trick in the book to get it to look vintagey and retro; just like all those beautiful film and Polaroid photos I loved so much. Then *facepalm*, it dawned on me – why was I faking it? I hated fake things!
Shortly after this little revelation I purchased my first film camera of the 21st century – it was a Lomography Diana F+, which was shortly followed by a Polaroid 600, shortly followed by an avalanche of vintage camera goodies (and they’ve been trickling in ever since – I have a lot)!
It all felt so clumsy to start with; loading the film and taking light readings, the… not knowing. I soon fell back into it though and learnt to trust my instincts and my methods. Those old lenses and film emulsions are very forgiving and mistakes can often lead to very serendipitous results.
Let me also say this; there is very little in life as exciting as receiving a chunky, chemically-smelling envelope from the photo lab and flicking through your freshly-printed photos for the first time. It more than makes up for the lack of ‘instant feedback’ you get with digital – of course with Polaroid you get the best of both worlds!
Using film made me approach my subjects more carefully, and compose my shots more thoughtfully. The primitive nature of the cameras meant I HAD to understand the effects of aperture control, exposure speed, focal ranges. In short, shooting with film made me stop being a lazy photographer and actually (re)learn how to use a camera, and I have benefited from this so much – my digital photos are much, much better for this experience.
I still love digital!
Equally, my new film photographs are a lot more interesting than the ones I took years ago. Digital photography has taught me to take chances and photograph things many might consider very ordinary and un-photo-worthy; it has given me freedom, confidence and renewed passion.
Together, these new approaches to my photography improved my work considerably and I still take great joy from both mediums.
Love what you do – do what you love
I started selling my work through etsy in 2007 and from there mainly wholesale to various boutiques and galleries around the world (and locally). I have even had my work featured on an episode of Dear Genevieve on HGTV in the US.
My passion has evolved and now as well as actually taking photographs, my focus is primarily on writing and sharing of my knowledge and experience of photography.
I’m into my 9th year of blogging now – it’s fascinating to see how my work and passion has evolved over the years and can’t wait to see where it ends up taking me.