1. Production Equipment: Please list the production equipment that you use on a regular basis (eg. Cameras, lenses, flash & lighting, photo editing software).
Canon EOS 5D Mk 2, 5D Mark 2 & 20D, EF 24-105 f4L IS, EF 100-400mm f4L IS, EF 300 f4L IS, EF 100mm f2.8 macro, EF f4 17-40L, EF 50mm f1.8. Various filters, speedlite flash, 1x4 and x2 extenders, kenko extension tube, elinchrom studio lights. CS4 and A1 V12.
2. What do you think of photography these days?
Fantastic scope with the development of all things digital.
3. What did you want to be when you were younger?
A helicopter pilot.
4. Tell us about the time when you first got started in photography.
At Art College, where I studied Illustration. Photography was part of the course and once I got my first camera, a Nikon, that was it - I was hooked. My first lesson was to go out and photograph anything parallel to the ground or parallel to the sky, that way I learned not to look just forward but up and down as well. It taught me how to consider other angles or ways of looking at things.
5. In your opinion, what does it take to become successful in this industry?
Determination to succeed, a total obsession with photography, an ability to work very very hard and be able to produce high quality and unusual images on a regular basis. Also, the ability to spot upcoming trends in order to be able to meet new demands from buyers.
6. What was your biggest challenge coming into this industry?
Learning digital techniques.
7. What are the best perks as a Photographer?
Travelling around, stretching my mind to new limits and making money by doing something that I love.
8. How do you plan for your shooting sessions?
I watch the weather forecasts religiously because these dictate whether I'm going outdoors to shoot or not. If the weather is bad, I shoot indoors as I’ve already have items that are ready to shoot. I also keep notes of what I want to shoot depending on the time of year, things I need to buy to set up a shoot, specific places/events/dates to shoot at and other things that might interest me, or I think may be in demand. I have lists going in my head too.
9. How would you describe your work to first time viewers?
Totally varied. I flit from landscapes to objects to abstracts to people or anything that catches my eye. I couldn't possibly just shoot the same thing every day, I'd die of boredom. I must have variety, it’s crucial, otherwise my creativity will dry up.
10. Do you shoot to what your heart tells you or do you go through a complex checklist in your mind when you produce your work? Describe the feeling/checklist.
I do both. I usually get a feeling that tells me what kind of photo to shoot, it’s difficult to explain but it’s sort of like an excitement or an adrenaline rush. I'm more prone to getting this sort of feeling when I go out and look at things I want to take pictures of. I drive round for hours "looking" until I see something and when the feeling hits me, thats it, out comes the camera. The checklist develops as I'm shooting at different angles, etc. Then, maybe I’ll think of when I might return to do more shots at a different time of day or year. If I shoot indoors, I'm much more organised and have lists prepared in advance of what I want to shoot and how.
11. From your experience, what subjects gives you the greatest satisfaction? Any examples?
It’s not so much the subject, it’s the surprise factor of discovering something unexpected that I've simply got to take a picture of.
12. From your experience, what subjects are the hardest to work with? Any examples?
Without a doubt, children and animals.
13. What is your philosophy when it comes to your work?
I just do it and I do it because I can’t stop, it’s an addiction. It’s like a ‘never ending’ quest for something new and beautiful or unusual, and that feeds me deep inside.
14. Describe who/what inspires you, tell us why?
Other photographers (there are too many to mention), TV programmes and TV adverts. I get inspired from the way other people "see" things because that opens up my mind to also "see" things in different ways. It sort of triggers my mind and opens up new pathways.
15. What do you do when those creative juices just seems to evade you. How do you "get creative"?
I play like a child, creating abstracts. I stop thinking, simply play and when I do that, the results often surprise me and that helps me kick start. I’ll get excited and off I go on yet another tangent.
16. Tell us about a time when inspiration just hits you, and you felt the insatiable urge to create. What did you do with that energy?
I just create, create and create, until I get so tired that I can't keep my eyes open any longer. Once the inspiration hits, I just have to keep going until it ends. It’s too precious to let it go because it’s such a great feeling and it’s at those times that I produce my best work.
17. What have you discovered about yourself through photography?
How hard I can really work and enjoy myself at the same time.
18. Whose work do you admire the most? Why?
Eleanaray, she captures beauty in her work which has a great depth of soul.
19. Do you have any advice for those who are just getting into stock photography?
Be prepared to work very very hard for several years, perhaps before making any major inroads. Learn how to use your equipment and processing software really well and never get freaked out by rejections, learn from them and move on. Never take rejection personally because if you do, you will probably give up.