My aim with all my photographic and video work is to create something that tells a story and has emotional resonance. Primarily, I work in a documentary style and I seek out those moments of beauty amid the often-chaotic world around me. Photography has given me the gift of travel and interacting with people in a whole new way.
I’ve taken a somewhat circuitous route to get to where I am today. My original education was in technical optics, followed by a post at the National Academy of Economy in Moscow. However, it was my move into publishing and the retail side of the book trade that really cemented my love of making and sharing photographic images.
My time spent working as a sales rep for Phaidon Publishing took all me over the UK and I started to use those precious moments in between appointments to capture as many images as possible deliberately choosing to work within the limitations of the iphone6s. Almost without realising, I started to build up a portfolio. This led to my 2018 exhibition ‘Out of Nothing Comes Something’.
Apart from my own ongoing projects, I have worked with museums, musicians, private and public individuals, magazines and newspapers. I‘m available for commissions across the UK and beyond. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch to discuss your potential project.
Out of nothing comes something: An Instantaneous Exhibition
Watford was meant to be a temporary move. I’d been living in a Travelodge on the M4 when a former boss offered me a room in his house. This won’t be long, something in between, something suitably transient. Then, somehow, a month became five years.
During those five years, I changed jobs. The new role required me to travel all over the UK. London, Brighton, Bristol, Bath. I knew these places but there were also new cities to explore – like Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leeds and Newcastle – which were comparatively exotic in their novelty. There was a lot of waiting around in the job and it occurred to me that maybe this was an opportunity to take pictures. I didn’t have a camera, but I had a phone and Instagram was on my radar despite never having used it before (pictures of people’s food had kind of put me off).
I cringe now when I think of some of the pictures I first took, and the ridiculous accompanying texts I often came up with. However, slowly but surely, I cared how these pictures looked and what they meant to me, whether they reached an audience or not. I had done creative things before, but none had satisfied me in the way taking a photograph did. As time went on people (who I don’t think were bots!) began to leave constructive comments and positive feedback on my Instagram page. Some people even seemed to love them. There’s no nicer feeling.
Then, in February 2017, Roberto Cappellino – a local musician – got in touch. He wanted some promo shots for a forthcoming album and was struggling to find the right thing. His first message read, “Your photos have a certain loneliness to them” and when I read that I felt that somebody got what I was doing.
The pictures you see here are very much about the art of collaboration and how “out of nothing, comes something”. I haven’t used lighting or props, but Watford has a certain architectural charm – with its car parks, shopping centres, telephone exchange and underpasses – that grew on me. I started to look more closely during my daily commute and began to see beauty in the angles and shadows. I took note of the light, and I used dirty glass, the rain at night and the emptiness of this satellite town to create atmosphere.
The pictures of Roberto were taken over three sessions utilising those same techniques. I had taken pictures of people before but very much with them being unaware of the act of photographing. Getting someone to relax when formally posing felt daunting, but in the end I realised I could distract people so that they didn’t overthink it. I felt I could show this man to others the way he wanted to be seen.
The music from Ghost Town lends itself to all these images. The isolation and what some see as a bleak representation isn’t purposeful. It’s just what I reacted to each day. Then I found a story in these images. The lyrics on the album are about a period of time and a breakdown of a relationship, but they also imply that while endings can be painful, everything changes, that things will get better.
The brief period of time these images cover also show how Watford is changing. Shiny new things appear daily and the unique ‘ugliness’ – what I see as beauty – is disappearing. Some people will prefer the new, others won’t. Some people move on, others don’t.