Leaving school, I joined the Royal Navy to study 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 and meeting a number of characters en route. 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. This was 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. So, keeping my Amex card, 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 advertising agencies, a clients presence on a shoot presents no problems for me. In fact, their being part of the creative process on the day, can often solve a few problems for the ad agency further down the line.
Over the years I’ve been even luckier, working with some lovely talented people in some great locations whilst having a lot of fun solving the client’s problems and challenges along the way. 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. Always with a lot of pre-plannning in place along with options B & C ready to go ~ just in case of any unforeseen hiccups appearing out of the blue. I firmly believe 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 & 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 car tracking rig is so transportable it fits into a Porsche with oodles of room to spare.
After 20 odd successful years based out of London, I’ve re-located to Cape Town and loving it. The light’s fantastic and the landscapes spectacular ~ ranging from a Nordic pine forest, to Salisbury Plain with the Cotswolds in between. As for the beaches, wow! Everything from Cornwall to the Med to Hawaii. Urban street scenes? No problem. I’m linked up with one of Cape Town’s original & most experienced producers who knows the ropes, how things work on this continent, where to source from and, most importantly – at the right price.
When not wandering about with a camera in my hand or shooting a personal project, I like getting wet messing about on, in or under the water. Outside of photography, my other interests include diving, marine conservation, sailing and rugby.
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