Leaving school, I joined the Royal Navy studying electronics spending a wonderful time being paid to sail the high seas with a camera by my side. Visiting some far flung interesting places & ports, whilst meeting a number of characters along the way. Once I decided life as a matelot on the ocean waves wasn’t for me I jumped ship and, putting my knowledge of guided missile & gunnery systems to good use, joined the advertising industry. My first employer was Collett Dickenson Pearce, where I learnt the ropes of great advertising. Followed by a move to French Gold Abbott as an account man handling a diverse range of clients & products from Army recruitment, to cars to drinks. My love of photography took over and decided being the other side of lens was where my future career lay. Taking both a deep breath and a large pay cut, I set off on a new career path. I was lucky enough to learn my craft assisting some great photographers, including James Cotier and Terence Donovan, before setting up my first studio just off Oxford Street in the heart of London’s West End. Having worked in agencies as an account man, a Clients attendance on a shoot presents me with no problems. In fact, their being part of the creative process on the day can often solve a few problems for the agency further down the line.
Over the years I’ve worked with some lovely talented people in some great locations whilst having a lot of fun solving the Client’s problems and challenges. I’ve been slung under helicopters. Accosted in the middle of a shoot by someone straight out of The Sopranos on 133rd Street. Frog-marched out of Fiumicino airport by armed guards with 15 models, full crew and 20 trolleys overflowing with cameras and lighting equipment. All courtesy of the client failing to get the brown envelope to the correct Carabinieri on time. And, with over 2000 commissions under my belt, I’m very proud to say I have never missed a deadline or gone over budget.
Learning my craft pre-computer, in the days of traditional darkroom printing techniques and film ~ when you had to get it correct in front of the lens before firing the shutter, is the approach I still use today. Photoshop is there to enhance the image, NOT salvage it. That said, digital photography has opened up a wonderful Pandora’s box of new working methods and I love it. What’s even better, I no longer need a team of Sherpas to help lug crates of large format camera kit & lighting around. It certainly makes travelling a lot easier and keeps the excess baggage costs down. Even my new custom carbon fibre car tracking rig, is so transportable it fits into a Porsche with oodles of room to spare.
After 20+ successful years based out of London, I’ve re-located to Cape Town and loving it. A photographer’s paradise of spectacular varied landscapes, foliage and topography. Not to mention the beaches from quiet intimate sandy coves to wild open ones with waves crashing over rocks of every shape & texture imaginable. Roads that Clarkson dreams of. Architecture & urban street scenes? No problem. As for the light … wow! And it’s all here right on my doorstep.
I’m linked up with one of Cape Town’s original & most experienced producers who knows the ropes, how things work, where to source from and, most importantly – at the right price.
If you’re debating whether to travel south of the equator for your next production, you really ought to. Everything is here and your cost savings could be significant. Just let me know. I’d be delighted help you out with my local knowledge and quote for you.
Awards include:- Campaign Press & Poster (Silver): D&AD: Cannes Lions: New York One Show: The Association of Photographers: The London International Advertising Awards: ISP Awards ~ 2x Gold and Campaign of the Year: MCCA Awards: Marketing Week Awards: RX Club of New York ~ Award of Excellence:
Clients include:- Amex: AMVBBDO: BAA: Bayer: British Gas: BT: Buell: Diageo: Digital UK TV: Fiat: Grey: Harley Davidson: Honda: HSBC: JWT: Kia: KPMG: Leo Burnett: Lowes: Olympus Cameras: McDonald’s: Motorola: Norwich Union: Novartis: Pfizer: RKY&R: Rolls Royce: Takeda: Tesco: The AA: The Home Office: Vauxhall: VW … and more