“Pictures can tell a story, create understanding, lift a heart and engage our emotions”

For 30-odd years I worked in Marketing Communications, Branding and Public Relations using images and words to communicate a message, a brand, a story or an emotion.

In the early days I did a lot of commercial photography, from PR work in the music industry to Product and Advertising with a mix of 35mm, 6×6 and 5×4. Then bit by bit I found I didn’t have the time for actual photography.

Instead I did a lot of graphic design, designed exhibition stands, wrote advertising copy, crafted marketing messages, managed advertising and direct mail campaigns, commissioned & directed photo shoots, helped launch brands, created management presentations, edited internal magazines, managed website design & content, scripted, produced and directed live B2B customer communications events, designed stage sets and lighting plots, produced a fair number of corporate videos and ran a few marketing projects that were so ‘off-the-wall’ that even the clients thought they were a bit scary.

And I had the pleasure of working with a great bunch of people.

Then I retired. And I felt that I really needed a hobby.

Images had always been central in my working life so in mid-2014 I decided to become a photographer again, but with the luxury of now just being able to take photographs for myself.

However in early 2015 I became quite seriously ill and I was diagnosed with a tumour which would need some pretty radical surgery, six months of chemotherapy and a massive amount of recovery time. Which rather put paid to most types of photography in the rest of 2015 and a lot of 2016. But so far, whilst I’ve not come through unscathed, it appears that I may be a cancer survivor. And it does give one a slightly different perspective on life. So now I enjoy mentoring, passing on stuff that I’ve learned along the line and helping others to step a little out of their comfort zones.

I’ve always enjoyed photographing people and am at home in a studio but I’m also attracted to street and reportage/documentary and I’ve a growing interest in food photography and still life. And who knows what else might come along.

Thanks for visiting. To my old friends, do get in touch if only for a natter. And if you’ve enjoyed looking at any of my images, please do drop me a note.


 

Galleries

The Galleries here contain most of my work over the last three years or so and I’d be delighted if you’d take a stroll around a few.

Why ‘Engaging Emotions’?

Images have always been central to my working life even when I wasn’t actually working as a photographer.  In my various roles over thirty years I was responsible for judging and selecting the very best images that would ‘catch the eye’ when used in a wide range of media including print, illustration, exhibitions, AV/Video and advertising.

I’ve always believed that an image that’s deemed successful will have triggered some emotion within the person viewing it.  Be it happiness, sadness, joy, fear, anger, surprise, trust, anticipation, intrique – or even disgust.  To the point that it will hold the attention of that person or prompt them to look at it again.

But all too often ‘successful’ is synonymous with ‘technically perfect’, and this smokescreen stops many from experimenting with ways to engage with the people viewing their images.  Ideas, creativity and social meaning are the recognised catalysts to emotive engagement so my preference is for a powerful image, whether with technical imperfections or not, rather than a strong technical image with no soul.

In retirement I’m now committed to being a ‘hobbyist’ photographer and am very happy mentoring and doing free tutoring on a range of subjects including  portrait and still life lighting, post-production and retouching in my small home studio. Just my way of passing on stuff that I’ve learned over the years.

Although I totally subscribe to the opinion that it’s the photographer not the camera that creates the image I nevertheless get asked about what equipment I use, so here’s the current list.

Nikon D810 (primarily for Studio work), Nikon D7000, Olympus Pen F (primarily for Street work)

80 – 200 F2.8 Nikkor,  135 F2 DC Nikkor,  24 – 85 F4 Nikkor,  85 F1.8 Nikkor,  50 F1.4 Nikkor

12 – 24 F4 DX Nikkor,  55 – 200 DX F4 Nikkor,  18 – 70 F4 DX Nikkor

Metz and Yongnou Speedlights plus modifiers.

Bowens Studio Flash kit (x4),  Pixapro Studio flash kit (x3) Sekonic 308, various soft boxes and reflectors. Arri 3 head continuous light kit.

Post Processing:  iMacs, Macbook Pro, Capture One Pro, Affinity Photo, Lightroom & Photoshop.

Printing: Canon Pixma Pro 100s, Ilford Gallerie papers.