Creativity has always been in my blood….
My early years in school were less than academic. Most people that came across me probably thought I was lazy. It was more that my mind was wandering…trying to find a path to do something that interested me more than maths and English! I felt destined there was more to life than an office job, in a grey box, with no windows, no stimulus. I knew my creative streak was going to be my future, so when the chance came I grabbed it with both hands and drove with a passion that even I didn’t know I had.
I had that passion, that energy and enthusiasm in buckets. At 16 after leaving school I trained eight hours a day, five days a week for four years, to graduate as a fully trained dancer and singer. I performed professionally in London West End Musicals, in commercial pop videos, and in concerts working six days a week, training during the day and then on stage in the evening, in front of thousands, sometimes millions of people. I liked hard work. After six amazing years disaster struck. Injury took hold and I had to retire from the stage. It was heart breaking. Yet whilst travelling the world, one thing was always with me, my camera, documenting my travels as an amateur photographer. I often found myself after-hours picking the professional photographers brains, asking questions, and in hindsight probably being quite annoying! In my spare time I was reading books by the masters Ansel Adams and Don McCullin to give me inspiration. It seemed natural that photography was to be the new outlet for my creativity.
My dance career taught me several things; attention to detail (excuse the typos, I failed in English!), someone is always watching your work, and you are only as good as your last performance. Strive for perfection, you won’t achieve it as it’s the impossible, but what you will achieve, is excellence. This was the ethos I chose to carry into my photography.
I gradually built up clients across hospitality and automotive industries. I thrived on taking briefs and working closely with them to create the imagery they had in their minds, and bringing it to life, with breath-taking results. Exceeding their expectations was addictive. My client portfolio expanded to defence and military manufacturing companies in the U.S as well as the UK. Most recently I have been working under contract with a large defence supplier to the British Army. Bringing my commercial photographic and advertising eye to a field that has so many unique angles to capture.
So what happened to the dancer in me? Being on stage, a thousand hands clapping at the performance…it had all but left me. But in 2017 I was honoured to be presented with three awards in the British Army Photographic Competition in London; including winning, and coming second place in the Sports / Adventure Training category. Having my work scrutinised by marketing and art directors is one level of pressure. Being directly placed in competition with your peers is another. Having it awarded at such a prestigious level? It was truly one of the proudest and most humbling moments of my career.
I have always been a believer that ‘people’ buy into ‘people’, and that it’s not only the quality of work that attracts a client, but also the person. I not only enjoy my craft, but I enjoy the experience each client project rewards me with.
It’s been an exciting journey. Doors keep opening, and I keep working hard. One thing’s for sure, I will always take on the challenge, exceed expectations, deliver above and beyond. And above all else, never be put in that little grey box.