I was born in Burton on Trent, Staffordshire in the Summer of 1970. I became obsessed with drawing and doodling from an early age and remember often lying on the floor with felt tip pens and pads of paper out, drawing in front of the telly. Even when Tiswas was on… well I never liked Swap Shop anyway… who did?
I soon found myself to be known as the “best drawer” in class despite my being fondly referred to as a “slow coach” by fellow classmates and teachers alike. I was a daydreamer alright with no interest whatsoever in the flash cards or the exercise books of the classroom, but I was totally absorbed by the make-belief world that spilled out onto the paper in my seemingly endless drawings. I wish I’d kept them… I bet they’d be hilarious to look at now.
Being a bit shy (except for when playing Cowboys and Indians) I always wanted to “belong” and be accepted by the other kids… I endlessly harassed my poor Mum to buy me the latest fashions so that I could look like the rest. She always refused and instilled into me the idea that it was better to be an individual and to think for myself rather than be one of the gang… so I never did get that Harrington jacket, or the fishtail parka I so badly wanted. Mum was right and I thank her dearly for it now.
Despite all the pressure to do well at regurgitating seemingly endless facts and figures I managed to survive the horror of fourteen years in outcome-based education relatively unscathed. My passion for image making grew and I decided I knew what I wanted. I wanted to be a photographer. I soon enrolled on a one year Art Foundation course and after just a few hours of dark room black and white printing I was completely hooked.
It wasn’t long before I headed North at age nineteen with my first folio of pictures under my arm to begin a wonderful three years at Blackpool College. It was a great course and a crazy place to live… I made some of my best friends there. At that time I also met Donna, the love of my life… we still reminisce today about the legendary times we all had in Havelock Street. I shot weddings in the Summer months to pay my way through college… it beat flipping burgers but was bloody stressful! I wish I’d done the festivals and travelled instead but hey, everything happens for a reason.
After Blackpool I headed back to Burton and ended up lecturing part time at my old college… then I discovered Photoshop. I became obsessed again, and taught myself as much as I could in two years and moved to London. Following a few bouts of freelance assisting I settled into my groove, retouching for some of London’s top advertising photographers. Things were looking up.
It was a good business and it felt great to be earning good money with no boss standing over me telling me what to do… but sadly it still wasn’t enough. I needed to shoot my own work, if only to maintain my sanity.
I knew that if I didn’t follow my heart I would regret it forever so after years of hard graft building up a nice solid business I gave it all up to chase the dream and I haven’t looked back.
Since then I’ve been blessed with the opportunities to travel to some amazing places and meet some fantastic people. So long may it continue. I hope, and until it stops I’m going to enjoy the ride.
Awards include AOP Gold 2005, AOP Bronze 2006, AOP Bronzes 2008. American Photography Annual 2008, Applied Arts 2008 and Spider Black and White Awards 2008.
Recent Clients include Land Rover, Sony, Nissan, Eli Lilly, Harley Davidson, and Carling Beer.