Over twenty years experience as a self-employed freelance. Earning a living is pragmatic must but photographing people is a passion. To be financially rewarded by any client who is delighted with my images remains a source of pride and immense satisfaction.
My work is driven by the 4 ‘P’s:
1. Portrait – commissioned to capture a likeness on one or more subjects
2. Portfolio – a model seeking to begin or enhance his or her ‘book’
3. Prospecting – someone catches my eye and I ask permission to work with them
4. Project – an idea for a theme, usually ’people in places’, shapes a series of images
When working with a model my ethic is simple; I never take an image the model does not want. Meeting the model to discuss his/her ambitions before the session works for me. What people wear to meet a photographer provides an important insight into their character. A nervous or shy person is put at ease by exchanging roles; getting the model to become the photographer just for a few minutes changes the relationship. The model must understand that each session requires full participation and collaboration. Every session is ‘topped and tailed’ i.e. a headshot at the beginning with proof of ID/age and the final image showing a headshot of a ‘happy’ person. Consent and Release Forms are a given but my models are asked to submit a Planning Sheet of four styles with clothes and accessories in advance of each shoot. For portfolio work there many advantages in working with two or three models concurrently. [“If she can then I can.”] In addition, for work with female models I almost always work with a make-up artist because photographic make-up is specific and having an informal ‘chaperone’ and ‘confidante’ is a huge bonus. Also, by insisting every make-up artist has her own photo session with me means she understands how I work and equips her to provide a much better all round contribution to the success of the session. Some models included in the ‘First Timers’ series were and remain my make-up artists.
About the Series
My ‘First Timers’ series is a long-running project comprising thousands of images. To qualify, the model must not have worked with another photographer and in our pre-session discussion expressly say they want to keep their clothes on. It is the process to successfully meet the challenge to change this attitude which brings fascinating results. Progressing from a very ‘closed’ attitude to a very ‘open’ performance is uniquely rewarding. Remember, I never take an image the model does not want.
The direct link from high self-esteem and high self-confidence to preparedness to go nude is a fundamental truth in an individual getting to really know WHO they are. In formulating the ‘contract’ between photographer and model it is straightforward for the photographer who makes a total commitment to give up his talent to achieve the best images to demand in return the matching total commitment from the model.
For the model, “know thyself” is imperative for being able to project WHO they really are. For me, the true measure of knowing yourself is to be comfortable when naked with others. A model who remains clothed is holding something back … and they know that. I have nude shots of two winners of Miss UK, a famous TV sports presenter who is on our screens most Saturdays, many fashion models, many page 3 and top-shelf models and many others who have never been published. All agree they benefitted from agreeing to be photographed nude.
Beauty Pageant Queen 1
Circus Girl 1
Judo Expert 1
Legal Secretary 1
Life Guard 1
Make-up Artist 1
NHS Administrator 1
Personal Assistant 1
Shop Assistant 1
Shop Assistant 2
Student Nurse 1
Veterinary Assistant 1
Weight Lifter 1