Cliched though it may sound, my passion for photography genuinely began as an after school activity. I’ll not mention how long ago that was. Suffice to say it wasn’t yesterday! It was back then that I first learned all about f stops, shutter speeds, film speeds and all that jazz. So, yes when all the other kids were out playing football I was the geek, though that term hadn’t been invented back then, in the darkroom developing film and making real photographic prints. I always had two left feet anyway!
Photography has genuinely been a lifelong hobby for me though it wasn’t my first career. I was actually afraid to take it up as a career back then. I thought, “what if I didn’t engage the film on the take up spool correctly and lost a whole job!” Not to mention all the other things that could go wrong. I do wish careers advice had been much better back then. So for many years photography was simply a hobby. That was until 2011 when the opportunity for a change of career came my way. Time to give photography as a career my best shot. No pun intended!
So I did some online courses and workshops with local professionals to bring my knowledge up to date and to assist my progression from hobbyist to professional. It wasn’t long until I landed my first contract with Johnston Press as a freelance photographer for the Lurgan Mail and Portadown Times. The experience I gained here was invaluable. My camera skills were well honed and I learned so much about working with people, putting them at ease in front of my camera and catching that decisive moment. As well as these local papers my work has also been published in the Northern Ireland News Letter and the Irish News.
But I felt that I still needed to develop my photography. I needed to learn more about the art of photography. So back to school and a Higher National Diploma in photography. It meant that for two years work took a back seat to learning, but I do think it was worthwhile. I passed with distinction and apart from filling that art gap, it opened my mind to many influences that I was able to draw upon to develop my own style of photography.
Along the way I have achieved a couple of Northern Ireland Photographic Association (NIPA) awards, a Licentiateship from the Royal Photographic Society, (RPS) and more recently an Associateship from the RPS.
Up until 2019 I had been what you might call a general photographer having photographed a number of weddings along with various other family photography jobs and photography of a more commercial nature. It was then however that I decided to focus on my strengths and would specialise in weddings, events and portraiture.
On a more personal level, my family are up and away and I live with my partner Tracy who amongst other skills is also a talented photographer. There is nothing we like more than getting out together for a long walk, with cameras by our sides of course! I am also a bit of a motorcycle enthusiast, though I have to say I’m a fair weather biker and love to get out for a good long run on my Triumph Explorer when time and the Northern Ireland climate permits.
2020 sees the start of a new long term personal photography project for me. I expect that the theme might develop as time goes on, but from the outset it is all about environmental portraiture. As well as being central to my work, I glean a great deal of personal satisfaction from portraiture photography. My aim form the outset is simply to put together a great body of work. At some stage I hope I can put it on display or use it to further enhance my reputation as a photographer. If you are interested keep an eye on my news page.
Thanks for reading all the way to the end! Hopefully we can get to meet sometime to discuss your wedding, event or portrait photography!