Hey David, Could you give us some background information on yourself?
I’ve always loved photography even though I hated doing it at 6th form. I dropped out and spent two years doing a ND in art and design at Suffolk College and then did three years at the Norwich School of Art & Design (now known as NUCA) doing my degree in graphic design, but specializing in photography, mainly fashion and portraiture.
At the moment I work in a lovely little real ale pub in Norwich and I also run my own nights at various clubs around Norwich too, with a new night of mine launching early April.
Have your childhood and surroundings had an impact on the way in which you work?
To some extent; my dad had an old film camera which i used to love playing with when i was younger. i also loved looking at the photographs my parents had from when they were my age now (25).
I wouldn’t have said my surroundings have when it comes to location, but certainly the people I have surrounding me play a fair impact; the quirky, beautiful, funny, intelligent, and just plain crazy people I know often make me think of ways in which I’d love to capture them. And then I usually do. Haha.
Who is your favourite Photographer? Your Inspiration?
That’s a tough one; there are far too many who inspire me and I have too many favourites. It’s not just photographers either who inspire me; I also get a lot of inspiration from illustrators and graphic designers, as well as fashion designers. I have had a blog for three years now which i use to store anything that inspires me. Anything at all whether it be a famous or amateur photographer, a great bit of design, or even a great bit of illustration work, I’ll whack it up on there. It’s even caught the eye of the Vice Blogging Network (VBN) so it is now part of that too.
What do you do in your spare time?
In all honesty, I’m a bit of a lazy bum. I work nights mainly to pay those darn bills, usually finding myself not waking up until 2 pm. I will usually spend time with other friends in the industry and always plan things to collaborate on: photography projects, clothing lines, club nights etc. and it usually end in us all getting a bit drunk. You have to have a drink or two whilst discussing creativity!
What is your aim in photography?
It used to be a recognised high-end fashion photographer such as David Lachapelle or Mario Testino, but my goals have changed somewhat – I always said i wanted to be a graphic designer for my career and keep photography as a hobby, as I never wanted to end up hating the thing I have most passion for. I will always see everything around me as a photograph, and I love it, but I think if i had that as a career, I would constantly be my biggest critic and wouldn’t have enough self-confidence to persist. It is how I’ve been with everything throughout my life so I just want to keep photography as my hobby, taking out my Yashica T5 where ever i go, taking snaps. If other people like them, well that’s a bonus, and if they want to pay me for a shot for whatever, then why not.
Any tips for photographers that are starting out?
Well working in Jessops (RIP) for two and a half years has taught me you don’t need a massive, flashy expensive camera to make you a good photographer. Similarly, having a massive flashy expensive camera doesn’t make you a professional. Best thing I would suggest is start off small; grab yourself a cheap small film camera from a charity shop or car boot sale (an auto point and shoot to start). Take it everywhere with you and snap away! You’ll go through a lot of film, and lots of the shots you won’t use, but you’ll find the odd shot here and there that you and perhaps others will really like, and then you’ve found you have an eye for taking photos. But don’t stop there! Grab yourself a cheap film SLR or cheap DSLR and play around with the manual settings. If you want to be a photographer DON’T HAVE IT ON AUTO! Play around and see what works for you.
You will progress too. The Internet and photo magazines are a great place for tutorials and tips.
You don’t even have to go to university to be a good or even successful photographer. Many photographer friends of mine have become very successful snappers, working for Vogue, i-D, Front etc., and haven’t been to university at all.
Anything else you’d like to say?
Stick with your passion, snap every day; explore everything & everywhere (and i mean it; Travel!), eat stilton and drink port.
Interview by Adam-Peter Hicks.