I’ve been taking photographs all my life, but the first roll of film I shot with any artistic intention was developed in 1992. I was 19 years old and for the next three years I locked myself in the darkroom, practising my craft at art school. I tried fashion shoots, portraits, reportage and self-portraiture, the latter the form that most inspired me. I never went anywhere without my Canon AE-1 or a borrowed Hasselblad and took part in group exhibitions in London and Lisbon.
Between then and now there have been many cameras, many rolls of film and many years in the pursuit of other paths. Finding my way back to the camera as I healed through bereavement has been life-changing. It’s my curiosity about the world, and my understanding of my place in it, that now informs my work.
I shoot Polaroids and film using my collection of vintage cameras; I use the camera on my iPhone like a notebook. I’m drawn to beauty and asymmetry, decay and whimsy. I explore how the world around us holds memories and familiarity, the ever-present backdrop to our individual stories. I shoot to tell those stories. I shoot to record the magic I see around me, often in the most unexpected places. I shoot because I bloody love it – it’s like breathing to me.
My Photography Manifesto
There’s a camera out there for everyone. And, like babies, all cameras are beautiful!
The more you practice the more your eye will improve. Fact.
We can be inspired by others and imitate their style as we learn, but it’s our own style that will give us the most satisfaction. Give it time and you will find it.
Slow down. Take a breath. Look again.
Pay attention to the in-between moments.
Remember to lie on the floor and stand on chairs once in a while.
Play with digital and film. iPhones and Hasselblads. Canon and Nikon. Try everything to decide which translates your eye best. Learn a few rules so you know how to break them.
Take a photograph everyday, even if it’s just your lunch. Especially if it’s your lunch. Shoot it every day for a month and see what happens.
The camera is only a tool; it’s your eye that really matters.