I'm a photographer who over the past decade has worked with some of the most successful and demanding creative leaders in British theatre. They have looked to me to create rehearsal and production images that sell the energy and beauty of their productions. There is nothing more satisfying than capturing a moment of drama and then seeing it spearhead a successful marketing campaign.
Career highlights: being season photographer for the debut MGC series of plays; being one of five chosen to document the Globe to Globe International Season; being part of the permanent front of house exhibition at Shakespeare's Globe, being exhibited at the V&A's 'Shooting Shakespeare' exhibition; being the Donmar Warehouse's house photographer for five years. In October 2014 I began work as Unit Photographer on 'Genius', a major motion picture to be released in 2015.
Clients include: Michael Grandage Company, National Theatre, Shakespeare's Globe, Phil McIntyre Productions, Jamie Lloyd Productions, Ambassadors Theatre Group, Trafalgar Studios, Found Productions, Abbey Wright Productions, MRS, Jermyn Street Theatre, Finborough Theatre, Lyric Hammersmith, Sonia Friedman Productions, Sheffield Theatres, Kate Morley PR, Kim Poster, Speckulation Entertainment, Young Vic, Almeida Theatre, Glyndebourne Festival Theatre, Gate Theatre, Jermyn Street Theatre, Nabokov Theatre, Paines Plough, Ichiza Theatre Company, Orange Tree Theatre.
The long version
I made my first appearance in a professional rehearsal room without a camera. As a 13-year old I was flukey enough to be cast in the National Theatre productions of The Life of Galileo and The Shoemakers' Holiday, both directed by the great John Dexter. Truth be told, I wasn't much cop as an actor and neither was I that interested in acting. However, the process of making theatre really fascinated me; the exploration, experiment and ritual in the rehearsal room, the intensity and direction of lighting, the design and construction of set and even the way posters and programmes were put together. Some seed was sown at this early stage – a need to capture the energy and atmosphere of preparation and performance.
I had the some great mentors when I was young. John Dexter taught me about a disciplined approach to work and a love for the clean, sharp visual aesthetic. Michael Gambon taught me that you shouldn't take yourself too seriously. And, of course, the wonderful photographer Zoe Dominic showed me a style of urgent reportage that I am still influenced by today.
After I left school, I worked on a casual basis at the Palace Theatre, Watford as an electrician, of all things - despite still not knowing how to wire a plug. I operated the spotlight and even the lighting board for two seasons. For the most part, I kept the stage lit during performance. But not always. And so another career move had to be made.
I decided to pursue a career in journalism – something I'd been very interested in while studying. After a time as a cub reporter on the local paper, I moved into computer journalism. And then to broader business journalism. I edited magazines for the management consultancy business and for market researchers. And all this while I was nurturing my hobby - photography.
My career as a theatre photographer began as 'a little something on the side'. Something I took a day off work for. I took shots for a number of am-dram companies and then took my slim portfolio to the London fringe. I worked with some great small theatre companies, helping to document their work. Some of those people have gone on to great things.
I sent my portfolio to the Donmar Warehouse. They gave me a shot taking photos of A Voyage Round My Father, with Sir Derek Jacobi. They liked what they saw and it began a rewarding seven-year relationship. It was there that my collaboration with Michael Grandage began. When he left the Donmar I joined him at the Michael Grandage Company, where I helped to document his first West End season as an independent producer.
Trying to juggle my day job and the growing amount of photographic work was never going to be an easy task. And so after a lifetime behind a desk - I quit the 9-5. A big decision, but one that I have never regretted. I still have the same curiosity and passion for the theatre that I had when I was 13. I am thrilled that my job allows me to channel this to the benefit of directors, press departments and marketing teams.