I first got inspired by photography through the amazing images in Life magazine, Vogue and later in Vanity Fair. I can’t remember exactly when, but I don’t remember a time that I wasn’t drawing either fashion, ballet or portraits. I took Art as a subject for Higher and won the Art prize (to my surprise). I particularly enjoyed pencil sketching portraits of my friend Laura. I was also always writing poems and stories in notebooks, it was my way to make sense of the world.
For many years I had little time for art or writing due to work and family commitments. By accident eight years ago I took my first steps in photography at a venue in London. I captured a few interesting shots with a small disposable camera (!) and I realised much of good
photography is about having a good eye for it while of course good equipment is like having good tools! I discovered when I got my first SLR in 2006 that professional photography required numerous technical skills to understand how the lens and camera worked and that using automatic is not an option to have more control over good results and difficult lighting conditions.
One of the hardest skills in photography is the organisation and editing of work.
Organisation is key. Probably the hardest skill of all is learning to sort and select images quickly, and recognizing what makes a portfolio image. I discovered that 'in camera' selection was very important. And the Big Question – what makes those portfolio images? Some photos might be good but they don’t have that magic quality in them. I also worked very hard at making contacts and studying how the photography business worked and looking at others work.
While I enjoy street and nature photography, my main passion is music and portrait photography. I aim to take flattering images which in my mind is the skill of a good photographer. I hope I have an artistic instinct for flattering angles, light and the use of soft light.
My Music Photography
Music is the reason I do photography, music is my passion.
I started out taking small venues and local festivals. My particular interest is Scottish singer songwriters. In 2007 to 2009 I took photos of several up and coming artists here. I received good feedback on my work – I had requests for the use of my images for promotional purposes, I was invited to a live album shoot in Manchester, and I was thrilled to receive a call from no less than the manager for Emeli Sande for a photoshoot.
The two big events for me continue to be Celtic Connections Glasgow and Edinburgh Book Festival. I first took at Celtic in 2008.
What next? To develop printing techniques and my main focus on mono (black and white) images. To submit more and to work more on the business side. To take more photo shoots hopefully. To hope for those magic images! To paint.
There is really not enough time.
And it really does take much more than a thousand hours.
Emerging artists I have photographed who are now signed to major labels - Emeli Sande, Hurts, Warpaint, Everything Everything, James Blake, Admiral Fallow, Metronomy, Head and Heart, Broken Records, Miles Kane, Low Anthem, more. A live album shoot in Manchester for Kirsty McGee and Mat Martin.
Emeli Sande has been working on her music since 2007 when she was commuting weekends to London. She left medical school after obtaining a medical a degree for a Publishing deal in 2008. Most wont' realise the work that has gone in before reaching the stage she's at now with her platinum selling album 'Our Version of Events'. David Sneddon has also been working behind the scenes on his song writing since 2004. He's had many preconceived hurdles to overcome, but finally this year he has over come them at long long last and he has received recognition for his songs on several number one selling albums.