I was looking through some of my old photographs the other day from when I first stared out. I was so hungry to take everything in and try out different techniques and styles. I'd pore over all the latest photo magazines, and probably drove all my friends mad carrying my camera everywhere and taking shots constantly. I devoured everything by Rankin, Leibovitz, Cartier-Bresson, Parr and I'd try and emulate the style they created in their images. But it would never quite work. Those were their moments and connections, it was about finding my own style.
I needed to try out loads of techniques, almost like I had to get them out of my system. I've gone down the HDR route, tried selective colouring, done big dramatic landscapes and long exposures. Then something clicked (pardon the pun), when I started taking photos of people. I love connecting with folk and having a good old chin wag. I realised my photography could be an extension of this, I'd tell people's stories in my images. What I love most of all is taking photos of people within their environment, in their place wherever that may be, almost like it becomes another character in the photo, as subtle as that may be sometimes. I've learnt to take photos that make me happy.
I'm still learning and hope to do so for a long time to come. Me and Suzi always set some time aside in the year for training and development. This weekend we're travelling down to London for a couple of family shoots, and on Monday we're really excited to be on a workshop run by Jonas Peterson. This guy's work is just so beautiful, thoughtful, authentic. I know we'll be buzzing travelling back up next week!
My style is still developing, but it's at a more natural pace. I look back at some of my past work and it's so different from where I am today. I don't feel ashamed, as this has all been part of the process and has helped me get to the stage I'm at now. It's exciting this journey.