This is the bit of my website where I’m meant to tell you how I always help old ladies across the street, save fluffy little kittens stuck up trees and trek across the plains of Mongolia to raise money for this charity and that.
Of course, I’m not saying any of that isn’t true (well, okaaay, I’ve never been to Mongolia!) but I’d rather you got an idea about the real me – the actual person who’ll be behind the camera on your wedding day – rather than some clichéd online persona the PR industry encourages us to be. After all, as a wedding photojournalist my no-nonsense approach is built on the notion of honesty and integrity.
A short history of synth pop, Anton Corbijn and hairdressing
Like most teenagers in the mid-1980’s (and most probably in every decade since the 1950s!) I wanted to be in a band. As it was the 80’s it was a synth pop band I most aspired to – after all I was a huge fan of Depeche Mode (still am) and lots of other electronic bands. However, there was the slight issue that I couldn’t actually sing a note (I’d be ideal for X Factor these days then!) or, despite owning a synthesizer, I couldn’t play music at all. So any notions of pop stardom were over before they had even started.
However, my love of Depeche Mode and a number of other bands led to me picking up on the very cool and distinct music photography of Anton Corbijn (that’s one of his images of Depeche Mode above.) As a result, I figured if I couldn’t be in a band I’d do the next coolest thing and become a photographer (the photographic style of Anton Corbijn is still a major influence on me today.) After all, my nan was a keen snapper who seemed to have rooms full of photo albums…so how difficult could it be? Plus, she was pretty cool too, well for a nan that is! Trouble is, I didn’t have a decent camera (I’m not very good at thinking these things through, was I?)…
…cut to another quirk of fate. I come from a family of hairdressers. I know, hard to believe looking at my rather sparse dome, but my brother (plus his wife), my Mum, my Nan (yes, the cool one!) and my great-grandmother were all hairdressers with their own salons dotted across London and then Northamptonshire.
Now at the same time I was deciding I was going to become a rock star music photographer (albeit a camera-less one) my mother “won” an Olympus SLR camera from a hair product manufacturer for selling ‘x’ number of their products over a given period. She had no use for it so, being the ever loving devoted son (especially when I wanted something!) it ended up with me…and the rest is kind of history.
So that (not so short) story is meant to explain how I came to pick up a camera for the first time and follow this highly enjoyable path via street photography, photojournalism and shooting for the likes of Getty Images and Corbis over the years to wedding photography.
Creaking under the weight of my passion, quite literally!
There’s a classic bit of advice given to writers, in that they shouldn’t tell their readers anything but, instead, show them it. I feel quite strongly that should go for our passions too…don’t talk to me about it, demonstrate it!
After all, how many photographers do you see or hear say something along the lines of…”I’m passionate about my photography” or “I’m passionate about shooting weddings.” To be honest it’s pretty meaningless and not to mention fairly subjective. After all, I’d expect anyone who claims to be a professional wedding photographer to be pretty damn passionate about it. If not, then put down the camera and go find something else to do that you are genuinely passionate about (I mean, I’m guessing trainspotters are really passionate about what they do!)
So I’m not going to simply tell you I’m passionate about photography. Oh no, I’m going to do better than that. I’m going to show you it in picture form.
<— And yes that’s it, right there on the left.
Say “hi” to my bookshelf – or rather one of my bookshelves.
I know, you’re wondering…where’s the passion?
If I told you that every book on those shelves (and those you can’t see) is about photography what would you think then? (Ok, forget how much I must have spent on them over the years!). Yes, that’s my passion for photography right there, causing my bookshelves to creak under the weight of it! I could bore you for hours on end about my favourite masters of street photographers, my inspirations from the world of photojournalism and, of course, those big name wedding photographers I respect.
Passion of the street
Photography isn’t just the latest way for me to make money from. I live and breathe it – even when I’m not working. It’s also my spare time hobby, when I pursue personal street photography work (see the photo below for an example of that).
In fact, I even sleep it…I often dream of composing photos! Yet it never ceases to amaze me some of the photographers I’ve met over the years who couldn’t name favourite masters of the form or talk about the medium’s rich history. So try it – next time you talk to one ask them about their influences and inspirations and then decide if their passion is genuine or just something they feel like they should say.
Are they creaking under the weight of their passion?
It’s not just all photography
I do have a life away from photography.
First of all, I live with Kirsten, my partner of 8 years now at home in Wallington, South London. Living with us is our young Shorkie dog, Buddy. Both hate have their photo taken, yes even Buddy the dog! How this is them on the rare occasions a photo was grabbed:
You’ll already know from above that I’m a big music fan. I’m also a lifelong (mainly suffering) West Ham United fan. My dad first took me and my brother to our first game at Upton Park in January 1976 (it was an FA Cup 3rd round match vs the great Liverpool team of the time – we lost 0-2). Over the years I’ve been a season ticket holder – but as a wedding photographer and weddings often on a Saturday, my tips to see West Ham now are usually few and far between!
A few lesser known things about me: I’ve had a number of short stories published here, I write and enter short screenplay competitions, I once appeared on a cheesy TV game show in the early 90s and I’m addicted to popping bubble wrap!
So hopefully all that can give you a sense of who I am as a person as well as a photographer. I do post the occasional post about my personal life called It’s My Life: Personal Stories (I should post more, I know) which let you know more about me as an individual.
Otherwise, I’m sure my friends would tell you I’m funny, easy going, down to earth and, if I bought them some more drinks, they’d say how generous I am too.
But seriously, if you think I would be a great fit for you and your wedding photography, then I’d love to hear all about you both and your wedding plans. You can give me a call on +44 (0)7920 422144 or send me a message here.
Also, if you have any questions, you might find answers in my Frequently Asked Questions.