Photography: it’s what I do.
I hope to give you a genuine appraisal of how I operate as a photographer and a person. I’m not a natural self publicist so don’t like inflating stuff or overstating my status in photography. Self hype doesn’t sit well with me. I am just a photographer: it’s what I do!
Living the dream?
Ha ha, photography and all that goes with it pays my bills, earns my living; I guess this makes me a professional; in truth I just work hard at what I love. That’s how it’s been now for many years since I threw in towel running my business as an electrical contractor. It often makes me laugh when people think the professional photographer tag is akin to ‘living the dream’. It just means I was daft enough to take the plunge when I did. When the subject crops up I am often found defending myself quoting, “I work ten times harder now for ten times less”. What I was doing before was not enjoyable. It didn’t satisfy me creatively, so becoming a photographer seemed like a good idea.
Photography: why I had to diversify
The reality of selling images and getting paid to do jobs (or commissions if you want it to sound good) to make a living means I have always had to be diverse in my approach. Saying yes and then figuring out afterwards how I was going to do it was a mantra I took on early in my photographic life. I was armed only with fairly basic camera kit and a determination to succeed. The diversity was and still is driven by necessity and probably defines my character; I hope it has made me a better photographer.
Starting out solely as a landscape photographer I firmly believed if I tried hard, I could sell my images; I naively thought that would be enough. I was lucky enough for a year or so to assist a couple of photographers with their workshops; this was a learning curve in itself. I look back to those days with fondness and realise now just how far I have come since then, both as a photographer and person.
Photography: it’s not a competition
In the early days I measured my successes by competition and the drive to win awards. Yes, they came in the guise of commended awards in Landscape Photographer of the Year and the Jurassic Coast Award. I had many publications and exhibition successes too. It felt great, for a while at least, but it didn’t really satisfy my thirst. I wasn’t really the photographer I wanted to be. It didn’t take me long to realise I needed to be a photographer for me, no one else!
Over the years I have taken courses, given talks, joined associations, attended a few workshops and fed myself with an almost 24/7 drive to learn. I have studied endlessly, read, trained and fully immersed myself in virtually all aspects of the digital medium. I breathe photography in every way, every day. From my first love of landscapes to the continued photographing of weddings, portraits, nature, architecture, journalism, sports and urban street photography. I am a photographer and it’s what I do.
Photography: in Dorset
I was born and have lived in Dorset all of my life, so I am proud to say Dorset is pivotal to my photographic work. Under the banner of Dorset Visual Arts, I still exhibit on a regular basis and have also worked closely with the Dorset Wildlife Trust. Many of my published images have a Dorset theme, with continued work for Dorset Life Magazine and also Dorset Magazine. That said, I also travel and will work wherever it may take me, especially for landscapes, weddings and street photography projects.
Hosting photographic workshops is a great privilege and can be fun. Over the last ten years I have welcomed over 1200 participants from all over the globe, making many photographic friendships. I like to think that I am quite an enthusiastic tutor with a big heart to help others learn. There’s a lot of enjoyment from watching budding photographers improve their skills. The workshops are for all levels and abilities. They include bespoke one-to-one tuition days, as well as one, two and three day group workshops in Dorset, Wiltshire and all over the south of England. The workshops can be very rewarding and are designed to help with camera skills, camera craft in general and more importantly, creative techniques! For more details please see my workshops and courses website.
Photography: my expressive medium
The open-ended, creative and artistic potential of photography is something I love. The thread for the arts generally seems to be ever present in me, including an interest in writing, drawing and various genres of music. I also realised that an electrical engineering background, with its bias for technology, was the perfect platform for taking photography into a full-time living. Being totally self taught, I genuinely take inspiration from many present and past masters in both fine art photography and the art world in general. I firmly believe photography is a life long art form and pursuit. It can continue to inspire and excite no matter what the age (or experience level) of the photographer.
Photography: a mindful activity
Having lived with a painful rheumatoid condition since my late twenties, the need to self regulate and control pain has been aided by a mindful approach to my daily life. Mindfulness is a meditative process that tunes into your surroundings and daily activities. Applying the same mindful process to my photographic life has been equally rewarding and has helped both practically and emotionally.
Photography: I like to write about it
I enjoy writing regular blog posts about all things photography related. The musings can vary from cameras, lenses and settings to the creative processes of the photographic medium and its role in the arts. If you would like to join the mailing list to receive a link to my posts please contact me here.
Photography: a Fuji X shooter
Over the last 3 years I have made a seamless and total migration from full frame Canon DSLRs to the more compact and excellent Fuji X series mirrorless cameras. Without doubt, this has been the single and most contributing factor towards enjoying my photography experiences more and more. The lightweight and smaller system is perfect for every area of my photography and has especially aided me to develop further my urban, street and documentary photography style. It has also shaved off half the baggage carrying weight when setting off on a landscape shoot. I am simply bowled over by the ergonomic and tactile feel of the Fuji system. The most important point to note is that the cameras are a joy to use and enhance my daily photographic experiences.
Welcome to my world of photography … if you are still unsure, I am a photographer!
North face, Eiger, Bernese Alps
If you would like to read more on what shapes me as a photographer please see this blog post.