A PHOTOGRAPHIC LIFE:
So how did this working class kid get into photography?
The creative journey began when I inherited my Dad’s ancient Ross Ensign rangefinder film camera. Later, when a close friend introduced me to film making, it was just the inspiration I needed to enrol on a three year course at Birmingham’s School of Photography as a mature student. However, film production wasn’t for me and was dropped in favour of still-photography.
Graduating from college in 1975, I found work as a photo-journalist on the bizarrely named “Kidderminster Shuttle”, a local paper in the English town of the same name. A year in and I exhibited a series of photographs at the Ludlow Festival, based around the vintage book “Around About The Crooked Steeple” by Simon Evans. A fascinating story that can be read here.
Some four years later I relocated to Ireland to join fellow ex-college alumni, Jaimie Blandford in Slidefile, a Dublin based advertising, industrial and commercial photography studio. That business gradually changed into Ireland’s first stock picture agency, read about it’s metamorphosis here. Agencies are only as good as the images they hold, so I retained the role of picture editor and continued shooting while co-directing the enterprise.
Following significant changes in the industry, however, Slidefile closed and I left for the tranquility of the County Waterford coast to run a smaller niche agency called The Irish Image Collection for a few years. But nothing lasts and with the introduction of the internet, the “one man agency” became extinct and I returned to freelance photography for a number of clients, chiefly Tourism Ireland. Then around 2007, I saw a niche to teach digital photography and established Copper Coast Workshops in my loft studio…
and began writing illustrated stories for magazines like “Ireland of the Welcomes” and the “Irish Garden”, sadly most are no longer on the internet, but there’s a short one about County Waterford written for Irish Central here. And tutorials and opinions about things photographic and can be accessed via the Tutorials and Opinion links….
Gradually age caught up and old bones and muscles needed heat so my wife and I migrated to Frigiliana, an ancient Moorish village on the Andalucian coast. It’s here I’ve had the opportunity to work on photography and books that have been on my to-do list for a long, long time.