It’s a question I get asked a lot. Along with, ‘how long have you been doing this?’ Well, to answer the latter question first - decades!
I got my first camera when I was 3 years old, I suspect as compensation for my little brother being born..! I distinctly remember going to visit him and Mum in hospital and, as I gazed down at the tiny child, was handed a present... before I could ask for him to be sent back. And, while I was obviously no where near professional then, nor had I any notion of the career path I would choose, it sparked something in me which remains to this day.
Since then, I’ve often been found with a camera in my hands. But, gone are the days when Granny’s head got cut out of the frame or a finger would creep into shot (thankfully) and, having studied the art for the best part of 13 years, I know I can take the most beautiful photograph you’ve ever seen of yourself!
This is me, circa 2007.
My heart lies with creating art pieces that you’re proud to hang on your wall. To meet a young woman, who is finding herself in this social media obsessed world, and to take it back to basics: me, her and a camera. I then get the pleasure of guiding her through a whole photoshoot which is specifically designed to celebrate her and who she is. She gets to feel like a film star for a day and then, I am honoured to show her portraits which she will love. Because her beauty - her real, flawless beauty will shine out of those images and be shown back to her. Its not about how tall you are or how much you weigh - it's about capturing you as a woman.
This is me, 2017.
I was lucky enough to see the legendary Annie Leibovitz speak in London this month. The thing she said which stood out to me most was this:
'When I was young, I didn't realise that people left. But they do... it's part of being alive.'
To me, there is nothing more profound, more powerful, more human, than photographing people; ensuring that they have a space on this earth forever. Being alive is worth celebrating! You owe it to generations passed, and those yet to come to honour yourself and your family with portraits. Because, to me, there is nothing more precious.
That is why I'm a photographer.