Why did you become a photographer?

I always wanted to be a photographer, and had a talent for it, but it is only since 2005 that I have done it full-time and I am now making my living from it. I have been selling my photographs at a low level since the mid-1980’s while working for Ilford. Unfortunately, in my youth local photographers did not need an assistant and when I went to the local careers officer in Hatfield and asked for help with a career as a photographer she laughed and told me to get rid of all ideas of such glamorous jobs but she could get me a job with an engineering company making planes! Not quite the same so I declined, tried and failed to find work as a photographer myself, so became a chemist (I also found chemistry interesting).

Most of my working career was as a chemist and I have a PhD from Cambridge University (the English one) and am a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Luckily after my PhD I managed to get a job with Ilford who make black and white films and papers. They taught me a lot more about photography and my own work improved as a result, particularly my print quality after I ran the photographic printing department for several years.

I left Ilford in 2002 after 21 years because of a back injury. My first book was published in 2005 and prompted me to take the plunge to be a full-time professional photographer. I now sell fine art original photographs, run landscape photography courses and darkroom printing workshops (I am also an Ilford Master Printer). I write and publish books, give lectures about my photography and license my work to companies for posters, calendars, greetings cards, stationery products, advertising, etc.