My biography, the chateau and a few favourite things…
How I work…
I am a portrait photographer based in Oxford and London and my speciality is capturing the absolute essence of someone, their essential beauty. It’s what drives me in my work, photographing someone’s truth (their “story”) and capturing a connection, whether that’s between a family, between a couple or between me and the subject.
During a shoot, I pride myself on being always “present” and in the moment, keenly observant of what is happening/unfolding before my eyes and always able to capture a special moment that might arise.
I try and keep a photoshoot as light and as quick as possible, ensuring that it remains fun and interesting for everyone concerned and that none of the photos taken are overly staged or forced.
If you are interested in booking me for a portrait session, please use the contact page to arrange an initial pre-shoot meeting. If it’s a portrait shoot with children and/or a family-based shoot, then ideally I would like to meet all of you together.
I was born and brought up in Sheffield, Yorkshire, and then went to college in London before working in book publishing for over ten years. I discovered my passion for photography as a late teenager and then spent much of the early noughties travelling around the world, visiting and photographing communities in India, Peru, South Africa and Swaziland. This included spending time on the Ground Zero site in New York, witnessing HIV/AIDS work in Southern Africa, meeting community workers in two slum areas of Peru and paying many visits to orphanage and leprosy projects across India.
I spend most of my time in the UK in Oxford (where I live) and London (where much of my work is) but travel around the country for photoshoots and love meeting new people. It’s perhaps my biggest passion – people –along with building community. For those who study personality types and are interested in the human psyche, I am an Enneagram 4 (4w3 for those who are super keen!) and an ENFP and I love hearing people’s stories and capturing such stories on film. Brene Brown (one of my heroes!) writes beautifully on the theme of “story”. She once said: “You either walk inside your story and own it or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.” I believe photography can act as a liberating force within this process – allowing people to own their biography and be empowered by it.
Brokenness and beauty…
It was through my travels where I gained a fresh understanding about the alluring combination of brokenness and beauty within everyone. It’s a theme that I am fascinated by, and which infuses my photography, my reading, how I approach things.
Today, I try to capture this theme through my photography – believing that everyone is beautiful and worthy of being photographed and that everyone is broken to some extent – and my work hopefully illuminates this, a window into the intrinsic truths of beauty, pain and love. The greatest of these though is love as we are nothing without love, and it’s what drives my photography and why I do what I do. CS Lewis coined the phrase “Four Loves” and it’s my fascination to explore this further through my work. Please click on this link to read more about the Four Loves.
The chateau… the heart of community
Find out more about The Chateau here.
It’s the most beautiful place that I know of anywhere in the world, lost in time and cut off from the world still today.
It’s also where a lot of the magic and inspiration for my photography comes from and where I go every year to recharge and reinvigorate.
(Thanks to Josh Currer for the video)
Some of my favourite things (and websites!)
Lazy summer days, fresh coffee in the morning, laughing always, music, India, long conversations, ice cold water straight from the tap, hidden old cafes, being fully known, good friends, football, tea and toast, the smell of air immediately after rainfall, cats, dogs, New York, the sea ~ always the sea, stillness, the colour blue, quiet corners of a room, poetry, dappled light, evening walks, cooking, chilled white wine, autumn, Yorkshire, running, discovering new cities, Joni Mitchell, the film Three Colours Red, my favourite old pumps, fresh cotton sheets, prayer ~ always prayer, sleeping.
Below are some of my favourite websites:
Tishani Doshi: A friend I met in 1998 in Chennai, a light soul and possibly the greatest poet I know.
Relevant magazine: A beautiful essential read in today’s fragmented world.
Mary Chamberlain: An Oxford artist whose work involves and evokes a real sense of nostalgia and creates much joy.
The Landmark Trust: My favourite charity.
Charlie Mackesy: My favourite artist. Utterly sublime.
Brené Brown: One of the most important writers alive today.
Farrow and Ball: Colour but not as we know it.
Local Milk: My favourite Instagram page.
John Cairns: A fellow photographer and dear friend.
Bruce Herman: An extraordinary artist living in Massachusetts and whose work touches on many of the profound themes centered around brokenness and beauty.
Image: A magazine that demonstrates the continued vitality and diversity of contemporary art and literature that engage with the religious traditions of Western culture.
MONK: The wonderful and warm new arts platform exploring spirituality and creativity.
Sheffield United: An unhealthy obsession (perhaps).