Start creating early masterpieces on the photocopier in the school my Dad works in. No examples of the "photocopy collage object" years left in existence.


Inherit Dad’s hand me down camera and put in early training on composition and exposure. After getting back 24 out of focus snaps from Boots, Dad crushes early signs of genius due to “wasteful expense”.

AGE 13

Join school photographic club and spend day upon day printing in the darkroom. Start saving to buy a drum kit with plans to conquer the world as a rock star.

AGE 16

Chemistry teacher gives me my own key to the school darkroom. Photographic obsession goes into overdrive. Play drums with The Osmotic Potential, Shades of Grey, 501 and the classic power trio 3 Look Through. School gigs abound but audience seem more interested in getting off with each other than the musical alchemy they're snogging to. Rock career in slow lane.

AGE 19

Go to Manchester to do photography fine art degree. 3 years of photographic projects and very few lectures. Find having to write 30,000 words for dissertation a bit of a shocker. Play in band The Leather Bus. Come 2nd in Piccadilly Radio's "Battle of The Bands" competition. Winner gets live session on evening show of Piccadilly Radio. Runners up get a crate of Newcastle Brown Ale.


Client asks me to shoot a lifestyle interiors project for them. Am hooked. Start rejigging portfolio to reflect this new interest.

Buy one of the first commercially available professional digital cameras. Start trying to persuade clients to let me shoot jobs digitally for them exclaiming “it’s the future”. Requests often received with similar rebuff that my bands demo tapes used to receive.

Un-knowingly buy my last pack of film and Polaroid. Found some years later at back of fridge behind half empty bottle of pesto. Shed reminiscent tear.

Decide I have definitely made the correct career choice and am thrilled to now be shooting regularly for clients such as Marks and Spencer, John Lewis, Monsoon, Laura Ashley, Mothercare, The Sunday Times, Homes and Gardens and Living etc amongst others.

Enjoy every shoot as each one presents a different creative challenge. Find lighting a shot delivers similar thrill and challenge as setting up on stage for a gig.

Decide it is definitely not an early midlife crisis to buy a drum kit once again. Now dust it regularly.


Start taking occasional uninvited snaps on my Dad's Pentax.

AGE 10

Get Instamatic for Christmas. Also get chemistry set and enjoy making stink bombs more than taking pictures. Chemicals soon run out, resume picture taking.

AGE 14

Buy drum kit. Form The Osmotic Potential with friends. Lots of band practice, no gigs. Stardom more difficult to achieve than first anticipated. Carry on taking pictures and printing them.

AGE 18

Get into foundation course and specialise in photography almost immediately. Buy second hand, bright yellow Ford Fiesta to get out and about for photographic projects. Discover only half of gargantuan drum kit will fit in car so forced to play gigs with pared down kit.


Achieve photographic degree. Move to London to assist. Am given ultimatum by the other members of The Leather Bus, either concentrate on the band or on photography. Choose photography.

Freelance assist advertising photographers for next 4 years on everything from car shoots down to jewellery shoots. Drum kit collects more dust. Find that floor tom makes good bedside table and cymbal stands are excellent for drying washing on.

Start assembling portfolio and push for more and more of my own jobs. Receive first advertising campaign shooting posters for Alpen cereal. Am ecstatic. Rock and roll.......of sorts. Get shot accepted into Association of Photographers competition.

Going to lots of gigs, playing in none. Sell drum kit to buy first professional level camera. A decision not taken lightly.