Photography has been the pursuit which has defined most of my adult life. Though I think it has been a part of my thinking for a lot longer. I grew up spending hours leafing through photographic annuals in my mother’s graphic design studio, and I must have either inherited or acquired, at an early age, a love of visual arts from her.
I have worked as a photographer in a very wide array of roles, including shooting weddings, private and corporate events, trade shows, and in advertising, to name only a few examples.
It has taken me a while, but I’ve finally figured out that I’m not drawn to commercial photography, and that I derive the most satisfaction from photographing for causes which are aimed at conveying either the beauty of the world or truth about topics I feel deserve careful consideration and attention. In the case of the latter, the subjects can sometimes be unpleasant. It is a challenge to document and record things which people might naturally feel an aversion toward facing. But I endeavour to capture the goodness which exists within every situation.
My work as a fine art photographer is completely unburdened by commercial consideration. In this genre, I make full use of artistic licence, but I try to stay true to a style of authentic photography which is somewhat reminiscent of the film era, in which I started my career. I try to steer away from producing overly abstract images, and generally, I prefer results which are not too heavily laden with digital trickery. There is something satisfying in having someone comment on the merit of a photograph and knowing that they are aware of the fact that it is not so fantastical that they should have no hope of ever witnessing such a scene with their own eyes.
Fine art is likely what attracted me to photography in the first place, but travel photography, and all of which it comprises it is what has motivated me the most over the years.
Even after 20 years of shooting, it’s still a bit tricky for me to limit myself to a description of one particular type of photography; it includes landscapes, macro, portraiture, fine art, wildlife, and even sports from time to time. I’m rather proud of my abilities to adapt with the camera, when I look at the work I have produced over the years, I’m pleased to see that I’ve tackled a wide variety of subjects.
Possibly the most successful work I have done in photography was while presenting photography courses. Over a period of 7 years, I hosted hundreds of students and shared my love for photography and my insights into it. I know that it meant a lot to a lot of people and that many of them have gone on to enjoy photography immensely in their personal lives, and that some have even made careers out of it.
Without a doubt, though, my proudest photographic work has been that which I’ve done on producing the book, Portraits of Madagascar. I’m certainly pleased with the quality of the photography in the book, but it is with greater pride that I think of what the pictures stand for and the message the book conveys in recalling a travel experience which changed me, and inspired me to bring attention to a country which desperately needs a great deal of concern and goodwill from the rest of the world.
As impressive as the book might be, I am truly humbled by the task of trying to tell the story such that it has enough impact to inspire other people into action.