In reality, when I left school at sixteen, I really wanted to be an animator or a professional footballer like all my mates but I knew I was naturally artistic more then a gifted footballer. The idea of sketching for Disney all day long, to me, was the best job in the world but just like so many before me, I was put off my dream by a well-intentioned careers officer who thought it best I got a real job.
Numerous, let’s say, character building jobs prevailed before one of my begging letters landed on the doorstep of a commercial photography business who kindly gave me my first opportunity to enter in to the creative industry. Although there wasn’t a job for me at that time, my persistence and ability to never let them forget me paid off and I’m glad to say the working relationship I have with that photography company is still going strong some twenty-five years later and I’m proud to call them business partners and even more so – good friends.
Jumping back a little…
I did finally get a job with Disney but not as an animator but as one of their cruise ship photographers. Before I had chance to say “I told you so” to my careers officer the whole thing fell through but the idea of working on luxury liners really appealed to me. I eventually started working as a cruise ship photographer back in 1998. It was a great education, as I had to learn fast and become good at communicating with people from all walks of life. I worked on one of the best cruise liners in world, rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous and travelled to around sixty countries over a seven-year period ‘and I got paid for it!’.
It was an exciting life that has given me some wonderful memories and stories to tell my kids. Such as, when I fell in love with Maui in Hawaii after spending my free time Humpback whale watching in the stunning blue lagoon these Whales love to frolic in. Alaska is breathtakingly stunning too and one of the wildest places I’ve ever seen. The Fjords of Norway are Europe’s alternative to Alaska’s Inside Passage and can safely boast of grandeur of the same magnitude. But if there is a heaven on earth it has to be Bora Bora. What a place. Perched like a speck in the Pacific Ocean, this utopia appears out of nowhere like an oil painting. Words can’t do such natural beauty justice.
During my final contract overseas, I met my wife in Sweden and we came back to the UK in 2004. For the next four years I assisted the commercial photography business I mentioned earlier and mastered studio lighting, Capture One Raw conversion software, Photoshop and all things Apple Mac.
In 2008, two month from our first child being born, I set up my own photography business, predominantly shooting stock for Getty and their sister company iStock, whilst building up steady commercial and advertising clientèle. Now my wife and I live with our three boys Lucas, Oscar and Henri in the beautiful quintessential village of Bridgnorth in Shropshire.