I started my professional photographic career in the nineteen eighties shooting news and features for local papers in West London. I was always interested in the human side of the story and was always trying to get close to the action and people.
Occasionally I sold pictures to the national newspapers, I used to take my film up to the Press Association, Express, Telegraph and Daily Mail offices in Fleet Street.
The daily requirement of taking news pictures to make my living forced me to engage with people in order to create interesting pictures. I photographed: local fetes; fires; royal visits; armed sieges; mayors; court cases; demonstrations and bomb scares. I also took pictures for all QPRs home matches for the club and local papers.
After a successful time in the eighties In 1992 I studied for a degree and professional qualification in photography at Blackpool College. This sabbatical from professional photography enabled me to develop my thoughts and skills.
As well as being among great photographic tutors and students, Blackpool was a great place for a people photographer. I enjoyed photographing local heros living in the faded grandeur of this seaside town.
I completed several personal projects featuring people working in regular but interesting jobs including: Truckers; The Death Business; and Religion.
Film Photography is magical!
No other medium can capture a moment in time in the same way.
Light is reflected from the subject and is focused and locked forever on the film. The unthinking chemical process that saves the image adds scientific credence to the mystical dance of reality that the viewer, photographer and subject take part in.
The image looks so real, but whose reality, depends literally and metaphorically on your point of view.
As the digital photography revolution began I took a break from professional photography. I continued to shoot projects on film including: London Dogs; The London Street and London Couples.
Five years ago I re-launched my professional career, buying digital SLR. Lately I have shot promotional pictures for comedians, artists, actors and musicians. I have also photographed business leaders for PR and Magazine features. I have still got my film cameras and now offer analogue photography as my premium service. Film photography costs more then digital and takes longer but it is worth the expense and effort.
I like to take portraits on location with my mobile studio; the immediacy of a real location adds spontaneity to the process. Environments where people live and work can look a bit boring.
I light in a dramatic way creating my vision of an interesting place and an interesting person. My lighting style is influenced by the master painters and early black and white films.Although I take a little while to set my lights the shoot itself goes quickly. I respond to the environment as well as the subject. People are interesting in the context of their surroundings.
I have never been intimidated by status and fame, I find the anonymous heroes on the edges of society just as interesting the powerful and famous people that I have photographed.
I took a picture of the singer Luciano Pavarotti twenty-five years ago, just a grab shot of him being interviewed for BBC Radio 3.
I only had time to take three frames, this is the first one. He was surprised in this first one but he was smiling by the third (that shot is in the BBC archive).
Today I stare in wonder at the Fujichrome transparency in my drawer. The colour is as bright and vivid as it ever was, memories of the moment it was taken come flooding back to me. Only film photography can capture and preserve moments in this mystical way.
Like many photographers I am a collector, I have an urge to capture images with my camera in order to add to my collection.
After more then 30 years I am still intrigued by the magic of photography, particularly the ability to capture moments in people's lives.
I have photographed thousands of people already and hope to photograph thousands more before I die.
My ambition to discover is not diminished.