About me . . .

  • First picked up a camera aged 7.
  • First played with Letraset aged 8.
  • Skip a few years . . .
  • Mid-Warwickshire College of Further Education, Leamington Spa between 1984 and 1986 to study for a B/TEC diploma in General Vocational Design.
  • Norwich School of Art between 1986 and 1990 to study for a BA (Hons) degree in Graphic Design specialising in photography.
  • Worked for as an assistant to a studio photographer for a couple of years.
  • Set up on my own as a designer and photographer in 1994.
  • Set up my own photography studio in 2008.

Services

I offer product photography from simple shots of a single item isolated, up to building mini sets to show the product in context. I supply the final images retouched, colour balanced and with a path ready for placement by the art worker or designer, in whatever digital format is needed.

I have many years experience of set building in the studio specifically for photography. I know what will work and what won't and how to quickly build a set that looks like a permanent indoor space. The studio is equiped with a purpose built modular water system so we can create working bathroom sets in the studio.

Having agreed a set design with the client I will build the set. This may include tiling, painting walls and ceilings, plus flooring. If required I will install sinks, shower cubicles, baths, a loo, and then fit the brassware and plumb it in to a pumped hot and cold water system.

As the set is coming together I supply in progress images so the client can confirm that the build meets their expectations. At this stage these images can be used by designers for temporary placement in their layout.

The next step is to light the set and shoot test images for the client approval. Once the client is satisfied, I clean everything to blazes and shoot the final images.

As a photographer with experience in graphic design I understand how photography interacts with design and I like to maintain contact with the designer or artworker throughout the process. In this way the designer is able to suggest adjustments to the composition od an image to suit the positioning of graphic elements such as a logo or text box.

I am quite happy to pack up my entire studio and transport it to a location that is unable to come to me. I have photographed in industrial and commercial premises, residential houses, packaging factories, testing facilities, offices and cars.

I have designed books, brochures, catalogues, manuals, leaflets, adverts and corporate identities. My work has been seen all over the world. In conjunction with the studio photography it means I can provide a one stop shop for product brochures, catalogues and marketing material.

Additionally, being a trained designer makes it easier for me to work with a client’s designer - we speak the same language - thus ensuring a cohesive work-flow. This is especially useful when setting up an image to suit a very specific layout, for example one with graphics and text overlaying the image. 

I like working with people; managers, designers, art directors and models. If your set photography needs require models I'm more than happy to work them into the brief.

If you, the client, wish to participate directly in the photographic process, be prepared to join in, you will get asked to adjust a light or put the kettle on! Working directly with a client enables us to bounce thoughts off one another and frequently results in great ideas.

All the images are finished to the highest of standards. However I have extensive skills that go beyond standard photography skills or basic retouching. My goal is to supply images that do not appear false, computer generated or heavily retouched. I am also experienced with other techniques such as composite images and focus stacking to achieve super sharp focus and almost infinite depth of field with high fidelity in close-up, macro and product photography.

I supply the final images retouched, colour balanced and with a path ready for placement by the art worker or designer, in whatever digital format is needed. (And yes, I’ve said that before!)

I’m not the most expensive, but I’m not the cheapest either. Give me a call and we can see if I’m in your budget. 

Equipment

Like many creative arty-farty types I use Apple Macs. I have always worked with clients more familiar with Windows and always provide files that suit their setup.

I use RAID 1 storage for data integrity and security, with off-site back-ups - belt and braces.

I’ve been using Photoshop since version 1 and bought my first copy when it became really useful when Adobe introduces layers in Version 3. I am a bit of a whizz with Photoshop however despite that I prefer to use retouching to correct an error or remove dust or a scratch or an ugly reflection, rather than image creation. The more work done in camera the more the final image retains a natural and credible look.

 

Hidden away in a rural location the studio shares a building with an automotive garage workshop. My studio is a utilitarian area of 630ft² (60m²) with an 11'6" (3.5m) high ceiling and a hot and cold pumped plumbing system.

My neighbours in the building have a workshop, bodyshop, MOT testing station, wood mill and stove logs supplier, and a specialist metal fabricator who also builds race cars should you need any of those facilities!

I use continuous tungsten lighting, not flash.

Why?

Because you can see what you are doing in real-time. WYSIWYG as they say. Flash modelling lights are OK, but not perfect. Also, when photographing people, children especially I find that flash can be intrusive and almost frightening! I use the best lights in the photography and film made by Arri. I have "blondes" (2K floodlights), "redheads" (800w floodlights) and "inkie-dinkies" (small fresnel spot lights). Those nicknames are from the film industry, I didn't just make that up, but that's what they are known as in the biz.

The studio electrics are all fully protected by RCD circuit breakers for ultimate safety and protection, essential when mixing water and electricity apparently. 

I use Nikon full frame (FX) DSLRs with a bucket of lenses from fisheye for that bonkers distorted incredible wide angle effect to telephotos and portrait lenses, macro for close-up work and to zooooooms for ultimate framing flexibility.

Nikon D800, D810 (36 megapixels) and D850 - (45 megapixels)

To put 36 megapixels into context, it is more than enough resolution to use on a full-bleed A3 layout in commercial offset litho print production at 400dpi. If you looked at a 36MP image at native resolution you would need a computer screen 8'6" wide (that's 2.6m), and with a D850 45MP image that would be 9’6” (2.9m) wide.

I can also shoot 1080p, 4K and time-lapse 8K broadcast quality RAW video too.

I also have waterproof protection for my cameras should I need to shoot in very humid, wet, dusty conditions.

Most of my work has been for one main client for the past 20 years. Over that time I have designed their catalogues and brochures, leaflets, adverts, technical manuals and sales material.

I started doing their product and location photography, small sets and once I got a studio, large sets too. About four years ago they took their graphic design in-house, which freed me up to be able to concentrate even more on photography work, which I prefer. I am very good at photographing awkwardly shaped shiny wet things!

I relish a technical challenge, love stretching my brain and learning new skills, like to build sets and I want to expand my horizons. I want my skills to be used for more varied photographic challenges, so bring it on!