Where is your home base? (city/state)
Kendal, The Lake District.
What is your photography genre/specialty?
Weddings, Family Portraits, Children and commercial, particularly food and drink.
What is your most memorable image and why?
With regards to my own work my most memorable image is an a portrait I took when I was 18 in Africa (see attached, this is unedited and taken before I became "a photographer")
One day we were up in the mountains, I was on the back of a bukkie and we came across a young girl carrying food to a neighboring village by herself. I jumped out of the truck and asked her if i could take her picture, she was very wary of me but agreed. That moment has stayed with me forever, when I looked on the back of my camera and saw the image - my heart exploded. I couldn't believe the power that one photograph could have.
Why did you become a photographer? What drives you to capture images and has this changed over time?
I really love people, I find them fascinating and feel privileged as a photographer to be let into peoples lives for the day. I think that if you have a real, honest passion for photography the drive is always there. I constantly have a drive to produce photography that I'm proud of that people can treasure for generations to come.
Do you have any personal rituals to help you get ready for a shoot? What are they?
I must admit that sometimes before a big shoot or a wedding; turning the volume up and listening to some good beats really helps me to get in the zone. My other ritual is that I will empty my camera bag and re-pack it meticulously the night before and double, triple check it the morning of the shoot (sometimes I even check it again before I turn the car engine on! So embarrassing!) The third thing I do is hang my outfit up in the bedroom the night before (I guess this is in case there's a wardrobe thief).
What are the top 5 things you can’t live without while on a shoot?
Lots of Water!!!!!!! Bananas, nuts, comfy shoes, tea (when possible)
How do you regain your inspiration if you hit a creative rut?
So many things inspire me. I have deliberately only followed really inspiring people/business on Pinterest and Instagram. The things that inspire me the most are food and drink, travel, people, weddings, calligraphy, design, interiors and typography. When I get the opportunity travel is the most inspiring thing for me to do when stuck in a rut. Travel fixes everything because it gives you the time and space to think, reflect and it really inspires someone like me who is a very visually driven person. New sights, smells, sights and experiences help me to keep my feet on the floor and clear my head.
Who or what has been the biggest influence on your journey as a photographer?
Catherine Connor and the lovely supporting team at my photographic home; Aspire photography Training.
If you could share just one tip with aspiring photographers, what would it be?
When training for Aspire Photography Training I share this quote with photographers on a weekly basis . "Comparison is the thief of joy" inspired by Theodore Roosevelt. So many photographers worry and give themselves a hard time about their ability and justification as a professional photographer. These photographers also spend time looking at and aspiring to be like other photographers who are years ahead of them in terms of experience and sometimes ability. Another quote from Aspire is don't compare your chapter one with someone else's chapter ten. Concentrate on being the best you can be right now.
What are the top three Zenfolio features essential to helping you run your business?
1. The quick and easy functionalities to setting up a new site. I couldn't believe how easy this was.
2. Quick image uploading, this was a game changer for me. Ive never experienced such quick uploads of multiple images.
3. Excellent customer service. The team are very friendly, patient and attentive. There's no such thing as a silly question. If you get chance to meet the team at a tradeshow I would really recommend you do this.
If you could second shoot with any photographer (dead or alive) who would it be and why?
Annie Leibovitz has also ways been a hero of mine, I love her history and journey as a person after reading some of her books. Even though her style is completely different to where mine is and ever will be I feel a connection with her work. It's so clear to me that Annie's people skills must be incredible. Her style is so distinctive, so very original, innovative, thought provoking, and timeless. She is the master of storytelling.I would like to second shoot for her to see how she communicates with her clients and how she is during a shoot. After reading her books there were so many quotes that I could really relate with particularity this one; "when I say I want to photograph someone what I really mean is that I would like to get to know them better". I can really relate to this!
How has the photography world changed since you turned pro?
The world of smartphones has probably been the biggest change in my time as a pro. Most people say this is a threat to professional photographers as everyone has a camera. However this just inspires me to be the best I can be and produce photography that is a world away from what my clients can produce themselves.
What one piece of software besides Zenfolio do you consider to be vital in your workflow?
Adobe Creative Suite, particularly Lightroom and Photoshop. Other than my camera gear, this is my work horse and helps me organize my shoots from the start and edit my work to a high standard.
For me, Zenfolio is… (finish this sentence)
Easy to use, accessible and relevant for modern day professional photographers.