Frequently Asked Questions
11/09/13When did you first become a Photographer and why?
I'm not sure I ever did ! My mum bought me an Olympus OM-10 for my eighteenth birthday. Despite getting an Art O Level I wasn't that good so I guess the camera was a means of a creative release.
How did you learn the technical bits ?
I regularly bought Amateur Photographer and Practical Photographer and studied them closely. Eventually the penny dropped. Then I enrolled at a night class and did O Level followed by A Level.
What's in the bag ?
Usually a couple of cameras, a pen and notebook, a handkerchief, a lens cloth, a tea towel and face cloth. A microwave oven, a set of golf clubs, a 22" tv screen, a complete set of Encyclopaedia Britannica's, a wok, a stuffed ram and a baby's arm holding an apple. I like to travel light these days.
Which Photographers influenced you to begin with ?
The first photography book I bought was 'Living Like This' by Daniel Meadows and I still have it but I was bowled over by the work of Don McCullin especially his English work. I was also influenced by the usual suspects; Cartier-Bresson, Diane Arbus, Elliot Erwitt, Friedlander, Winogrand and Robert Frank. Martin Parr intrigued me as well. It was round about the time when Bailey was advertising Olympus Cameras, "whose he think he is David Bailey ?" so he was unavoidable, but nevertheless an influence.
Who are your current influences ?
My mates Clive Egginton, Paul Hill, Martin Shakeshaft, Nick Lockett and Maria Falconer are constantly encouraging.
Film or Digital ?
Both ! Each are a means to an end.
What do you look for when you go out with your camera ?
If something catches my eye and makes me stop, that's usually a good enough reason to make an image of it
Many of your images have a subtle humour and some are bittersweet! Is there a reason for this ?
I'm English !! Well I was brought up on Laurel and Hardy, The Marx Brothers, Will Hay and the classic English comedies, Steptoe and Son, Dad's Army, Til Death us Do Part, Benny Hill, Monty Python etc. Dad used to let me stop up to watch Til Death us Do Part even though I was too young to understand what it was really on about. I remember getting into trouble on holiday in Tenby for buying some of those saucy seaside postcards.
What advice would you give to budding photographers ?
Paul Hill said to me once " deal with what you know Andy ". That's the best advice I can probably give.