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.

"The camera is an instrument that teaches people to see without a camera." Dorothea Lange

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.

"Which of my photographs is my favourite? The one I'm going to take tomorrow." Imogen Cunningham

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.

"The act of making a photograph is less a question of what is being looked at than how." Margaret Atwood