I have been a keen photographer since I was about 8 years old when I borrowed my Dad’s folding Zeiss Icon camera, read the exposure recommendations on the leaflet with the film, squinted at the sky and pretended that I knew what I was doing. I guessed at the aperture and speed settings, and took responsibility for all family photography thereafter. I acquired a darkroom kit and a decent 35mm camera in my late teens, and taught myself how to do the basics by reading Amateur Photographer and other magazines. The real turning point for me was joining Woking Photographic Society – one of the best clubs in the UK, where members were more tuned to the art of photography, and for whom equipment and technique were implicit, but never more than a means to the end – the image itself.
Initially all my work was in monochrome, although I played with toning and colouring. Digital photography opened up the world of colour as well as a wealth of creative possibilities. That said, images on a computer screen or projector have their place, but nothing compares to the look and feel of a fine print.
My work is difficult to pigeon-hole, it goes its own way as a particular theme or subject catches my interest. People have always been my favorite, candids, street pictures, in an urban landscape, the studio or theatre. Actors and dancers make wonderful images, easy to direct, especially when projecting a role or a character – it made me realise that, even when making relatively conventional portraits it is necessary to get the sitter to play their part, to think about the image that they wish to convey of themselves and to build a rapport with the camera. Actors seem to do this naturally, whether on stage or relaxing. My theatre pictures give me great satisfaction and Associateship of the Royal Photographic Society in two categories, Theatre and Pictorial. I subsequently gained a Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society in Contemporary Photography for Ghoti ** – a very peculiar kettle of fish.