I consider myself to be a portrait photographer in the first instance, generally my photography is based upon a mixture of creative thinking and an interest in the arts, while maintaining strong links to the ‘craft, science and technology’ of photography.What did you want to be when you were at primary school?
A cartoonist, though years at Art College were gradually drew me to photographyWhat career path did you take to get to where you are now?
Following A-Levels I studied for a BA(hons) in Photography, then freelanced as a photographic assistant before setting up my own business. In 2000 I began working for the University for the Creative Arts (which has helped developed my teaching to it’s current level). I’ve also been teaching at West Dean since 2002. Last year I returned to education and completed an MA in Photography to deepen my theoretical knowledge. I’m currently studying for a Post Graduate Certificate in Education to further develop my teaching skills.What inspires your work?
I’m most inspired by creativity and technology. My Masters study centred upon the impact of new visual technologies on the photographic image, particularly the pixel as prosthesis for personal representation in a digital form. In terms of subject matter, for me it’s usually people as I’m a portrait photographer (though I can just as easily be inspired by objects, places and textures).Do you have a favourite artist/maker who you find inspirational?
The artists who most inspire me change all the time, today, it’s Chen Man (Japanese Fashion photographer), I also really enjoy the work of Rankin, Ruud Van Empel and Steven Meisel. The classic photographers that excite me are Robert Mapplethorpe, Man Ray, Bob Carlos Clarke and Helmut Newton.Describe your style of teaching
I do my best to ensure that everyone who comes on one of my courses has both an enjoyable few days but also a quality learning experience that stays with them long after. Many students build more strong competencies in the time after the course to enable higher levels of study. It’s great to see how students progress from a basic course right through up to the advanced level.
My courses are carefully designed to promote a deep engagement with the subject matter, all techniques are taught with an emphasis on using them in real world situations. My teaching strategies are mixed, though the emphasis is on developing a thorough understanding of the key concepts rather than memorising photographic facts and tricks.
Students receive clear instruction on the optimum use of their cameras and robust teaching on retouching techniques. I teach in a way that means images captured and processed on the course will serve as a lasting record of what was learn. These techniques can then be applied to other images and shooting opportunities in the future.Do you have a memorable career moment?
I have a few, winning a Prince’s Trust grant to buy my first SLR camera. Seeing my written and photographic work published in magazines, private views of exhibitions that I’ve contributed to, selling prints to collectors, running a photography studio at a muddy Glastonbury Festival, passing my Adobe Certified Expert exam in Photoshop, and graduating from my MA.What is your most prized possession?
My cat and my camera.Where can students see examples of your work?
I exhibit periodically, details are posted on my website. I also feature within Photography Monthly magazine as a feature and technical writer.