My very early memories are of playing with an old camera without any film in it, I would go around the garden for hours looking through the viewfinder and composing and then “taking pictures” and since then have known exactly what I wanted to do and have been doing it ever since.
Here I am at about 4 years old playing with that camera, I have one still today and its called an Ensnign, the first picture shows it turned around to match the angle of the one I am holding
I photographed my first wedding in Leicester when I was 20, it was film at that time and you had to get the wedding photography right the first time with no mistakes, no delete button or photoshop then, the expertise needed for film meant it was vital to have an eye for detail, think ahead and work fast which are still some of the key qualities needed for wedding photography today.
At the age of 14 I had my own darkroom set up in my parents bathroom (thanks Mum ) and also my 1st proper 35mm camera. I chose not to take A level photography at school as I really didn’t fancy what I saw as going back a step so instead opted to go straight into a job.
My first job at 16 was working as a photo printer in one of the pro labs in Leicester and very soon I was promoted to manage the black and white printing department, but still my spare time would find me travelling around and taking photos, especially landscapes with a 5×4 inch plate camera 1 shot at a time – like in the picture below taken somewhere in Dovedale 1987
At the pro lab I started with black and white and then trained as a colour photo printer and at the age of 19 I started assisting in the photographic studio which would see me on many outdoor photographic assignments, a few years later I started photography by Bill Haddon in 1995.
Taken in 1988 at the age of 20 and by then with 4 years darkroom experience and already manager of a lab’s black and white department and assisting in the photographic studio.
Today I still use all the printing skills honed in a real (wet) darkroom, especially the pro colour lab printing because to able “see” colour correctly takes years of experience. Today the darkroom is photoshop and a computer.
Paris late 80s with a 5×4 inch plate camera
Here I am again some time in the 1990s playing with an antique whole plate camera that takes sheets of almost A4 size film one shot at a time.
I never like take myself too seriously and mainly I just press the button on the top !