CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR CREATIVE BACKGROUND?
I did my foundation course in Bournemouth at Mary Shelly’s old house which was exactly what I imagined Art School to be like, with paint on the walls and a warren of rooms. My mate had a pet rat and he used to let it loose during life drawing classes when we were bored with the pose. After a few years of working with kids in Dorset and Bristol on various photography projects, I found myself in Dundee doing an MSc in Electronic Imaging thinking I was going to go into the heady world of New Media. During this time, I had an epiphany, picked up my Hasselblad again and finally plucked up the courage to call myself a photographer and set up in business in Edinburgh which now is where I call home. I now have a magic studio in Summerhall where I love the creative community which I am surrounded by.
CAN YOU GIVE US AN INSIGHT INTO YOUR PRACTICE AND WHAT YOU DO?
I have a broad base of clients from the National Museum of Scotland to Bacardi to Jupiter Artland, who keep me interested and busy. What really keeps me going is people, I love taking portraits which I see as a collaboration between the sitter and photographer. There is a fascinating insight into someone’s life when you they sit for you, be it a business portrait or a commissioned series for the National Theatre of Scotland.
ANY EXCITING PROJECTS OR EVENTS YOU HAVE ON THE HORIZON?
I have worked closely with two charities over the past couple of years, mainly in Sierra Leone. One is the Swawou Foundation which funds a fantastic school for underprivileged girls in Sierra Leone’s third major city, Kenema. I was introduced to them by Orkidstudio, a Glasgow based humanitarian architectural charity who built the new school for Swawou. I took a series of portraits of the community that surrounds the school both before and after the Ebola epidemic. I have worked with the ever creative design studio, Ostreet, to make a beautiful photography book for which I am currently running a crowdfunding campaign to raise the funds to print. All the monies made from the book will go towards giving young women a head start and helping build a better future for Sierra Leone. Please check out our kickstarter page here.
WHAT MAKES EDINBURGH A GOOD CITY TO BE BASED?
Besides its beauty and having the biggest arts festival in the world Edinburgh has amazing pockets of creativity which are easy to find and get involved in. It's proximity to Glasgow gives you the best of two amazing and culturally diverse cities. Having spent a long time down in the South of England I have found that the Scottish creative community is really welcoming and easy to engage with, which I have enjoyed being part of for the past twelve years.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO PEOPLE THINKING OF PURSUING A CAREER IN THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES?
Just do it. Integrity will always shine through.