Know the rules, then break the rules. Supposedly Picasso said that. On the other hand, Abraham Lincoln definitely told us not to believe everything on the Internet.
I digress. I do that a lot. What I also do is make great images by following some rules and breaking others.
If you’re like me, you like images that bring something unusual to the table. Just a little something, more spice than main course.
The world is full of patterns. The same meal every time, easy to recognise. Without them, we would be quickly overwhelmed by the noise of the world.
You can’t live by patterns alone though, can you? That’s boring and unfulfilling. Some days you need to pair an evening dress with a flannel shirt. Other days, throwing together the clothes you own and never wear is the right way.
There’s something out of the ordinary about you. That should be reflected in the art you choose and the art you make.
What, where and when?
I'm free most evenings and weekends, and always up for chatting about making images. Normally I work out of my flat bedroom near North Acton, which gives me access to all my lighting equipment. I can lug some of it around on the underground easily enough if you want to work out of an actual location though.
Why did I start photography?
I’m a third generation photographer. My dad tried to teach me as a little kid in the 80s, but as in all things with kids, I didn’t get it. Opening the back of a cheap film camera to dry out the lemonade I spilled on it was one of my big mistakes. Years went by before I picked up a camera again.
After my three nieces were born, my dad invested in cameras to make sure we had good photos of them growing up. Since the cameras were new toys, I picked them up to play and had a whale of a time. Trying to catch good pictures of three girls as they grew up was tricky, but it helped me learn the slowly-slowly approach to documentary photography.
A chance encounter led to a very welcoming experience with a group of models and photographers. This event persuaded me that photography was a good long-term hobby for me. Even with a borrowed camera and newbie skills, I made friends and some attractive images.
The event that really pushed me into picking up the art was the loss of my grandfather. I inherited one of his lenses and some money, which bought me equipment. Neither of those could replace the experience I never made the time to learn from him though.
Now I’m looking to put these skills to use and honour his memory. Every time someone enjoys my work, I know I am adding a little bit to our family legacy.