30 years ago, in England, at the sprightly age of 18, it was suggested to me by a Local Magistrate that I needed to do several things, and quickly; stop going out every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, stop listening to heavy metal, stop rolling around in the gutters with other likeminded folks/groups of folks/the police...and leave Plymouth. Well, after joining the army a short while later and then giving approximately 14 years of exemplary service to Queen, Country and Regiment, whilst being vetted to the absolute pinnacle of security clearances, I can honestly say I had left Plymouth.
That said, as the years flew by and my youthful high-spirits were eroded by ever increasing responsibilities, those other concerns the Magistrate of several decades ago had indicated gradually receded, and then went away. Other than the music, that's staying. There simply is no replacement for occasional solitude and Led Zeppelin, Floyd, Purple, Oasis (I know) and Kasabian (yep, I’ll own it). With green tea. Like real, legit, loose-leaf green tea.
Well, as the above very broad overview of my own personal journey might suggest, life twists. It turns. At its worst it is challenging and unpredictable…at its best it is challenging and unpredictable. Had anyone said to my 18 year old self I would be married to an amazing woman, have a wonderful daughter, be working with people to help rebuild their lives in a Government Department, and what’s more, in New Zealand, I would have passed out.
So what’s all this got to do with photography, you may be wondering? Everything. Despite maintaining a largely empathic world view since a young age, I’ve seen and engaged with the world from so many different perspectives and within so many differing contexts. The best, the worst and everything in between. I feel there is a link between this and my refusal to be niched photographically. I could follow the often repeated mantra to specialise, and choose to shoot only weddings, only fitness or only events as examples, but the one-type-photographer thing is not for me and I am a firm believer, after looking at my own photographic development over the years that growing in any one form of photography informs and develops all others.
I enjoy the positive interactions I have with people through photography, whether they are models, business owners, brides and grooms, athletes, dancers, runners, mums and dads, event organisers or pet owners. For instance, if an image from any given shoot truly stands out from what is an already good group of images, often I will send a client several interpretations of it in order to canvass opinion so we can tweak things to perfection. Cliched as it may sound, I really do get a buzz out of making my clients happy.