My Story

– photography: it’s not just a passion, it’s a lifelong obsession

i’m not sure i can claim to have been born a photographer, but i came pretty damned closed!  you see my dear old (and much missed) nan, pearl, was very much an obsessive amateur snapper. not quite vivian maier, but she rarely went anywhere without her instamatic camera.

– the seed is sown

An old photo of the Lehane family in 1970

– that’s me, at the front in this old family photo from 1970. my nan, pearl, is standing in the background in the white dress.

as a young boy i was fascinated by her hundreds of photo albums.  all those people. all those far off places. i was having my very own boys own adventure tales created in my head.

before long i started picking up her old instamatic. to me the camera was something that would create stories. i would literally take hundreds of photos with that camera. of course, she was wise enough to make sure there was never any film in the camera at time. but the seed was already sown at 5 years old.

– it’s just a question of time

like many teenage boys i wanted to be in band. being the 1980s it had to be a synth pop band – preferably like depeche mode. a couple of synthesizers later i finally accepted i couldn’t play a keyboard nor sing a note. my dream to be a pop star was over before it had started.

however, my love of music had brought dutch music photographer anton corbijn to my attention. his gritty black and white photos of bands like joy division, u2 and, yes, depeche mode really appealed to me. then he started directing videos for depeche mode (as above) and i was hooked…photography was the new rock ‘n’ roll and it was something i could actually do.

around the same time my mum (the blonde in the family photo above) won an olympus slr om101 camera. with no need for it she gave it to me…the stars aligned and, as they say, history was made.

– in pursuit of the decisive moment

Street photography of a couple kissing and a man jumping over them, on the beach in Brighton

street photography has always been my driving force. it’s what pushes and informs all my photography. it’s why i sometimes get called the street photography wedding photography.

i guess it was the easy accessibility and democratic nature of street photography that first drew me in. i didn’t need expensive gear. i didn’t need access to a photography studio. i could literally step outside my front door and the world was my photographic oyster.  capturing fleeting and decisive moments among the mundane nature of everyday life really does become an obsession.

over the years my street photography has been exhibited in galleries in london and los angeles. its been widely published online and in print. in 2017 i was humbled to be a winning finalist in the pdn street 2016 photography competition, selected by photography historian and co-publisher of the seminal book on street photography ‘ bystander’, colin westerbeck.  here’s westerbeck giving his definition of street photography.

– getty images and all that

over the years i’ve worked as a freelance photographer and photojournalist. a decade ago i was invited to start providing work for getty imges. my photography has been licensed all around the world and appeared in print.

i once upset boris johnson during a st george’s day photocall – he not appreciating my attempts to get him to wear a hat and dance with morris dancers in london’s ledenhall market. i thought it would be amusing. he didn’t.

Boris Johnson with Morris Dancers in London

– award winning wedding photography

i’ve been shooting weddings since 2012. in that time i’ve qualified for membership of the wedding photojournalist association (wpja) and won numerous wedding photography awards. in many ways weddings offer a bit of everything i love about photography.

as both a photojournalist and candid street photographer i have a fascination with people. it’s what is ingrained in me: decisive moments, raw emotions, real stories. weddings offer all of this.

so photography isn’t just a passion. it’s an obsession. something that is a way of life for me. i’m not joking when i say i see the world in continual 3:2 frames. i even dream of taking photos.

so when you book me, you just don’t get a simple wedding photographer. you get over 40 years of obsession, passion and love for the craft. not just someone who got a camera last christmas and thought they’d give wedding photography a whirl.

– why not go and check out some of my recent wedding stories

featured weddings

 

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