My photography is formed in early experience, making black-and-white photographs with my father. His fascination became my passion. Making, developing, printing were all part and parcel of how I saw and thought about the world before I was Ten.
I started my career in photography as a precocious teenager, witness to the riots and rock concerts of the early ’80s. I was sponsored into the NUJ, and my first news front pages, by my early mentor the Sunday Times’s senior photographer Peter Dunne. Exciting times; black and white 35mm film, hand processing, darkrooms and smoke filled offices. Life revolved around Fleet Street and the picture desk.
Youthful ambition for a more technically demanding image making made at a gentler pace led to enrolling on a degree course before moving on to a period working in London studios, photographing cars, room sets and furniture, a glamorous world of incredibly demanding technique, exacting standards and larger than life characters.
Armed with new large format image making skills, combined with early success with photographs for David Thurlow and Syd Furness of Cambridge Design, working on a string of RIBA award winning projects and my future path was set. I had the great good fortune to work with Richard Bryant FRIBA at Arcaid before settling on a career photographing the built environment.
I have been fortunate in that my early career was supported by a roster of extraordinary architects. Clients included Norman Foster, Nicholas Grimshaw, Michael Hopkins, Terry Farrell, Robert Venturi. It was a happy time, buildings bathed in perfect light; moments made more special by the delightful simplicity of the image projected on a ground glass screen.
My thirties brought long associations with some of the great engines of the architectural photography world: Gensler, KPF, HOK, M. Moser, NBBJ. Commissions took me to the palaces of Dubai, the art galleries of Basel, the boardrooms of New York, an amazing insight into how architecture is made across the planet.
The early 2000s brought a new challenge: digital had arrived and photography was re-inventing itself. I committed to the new, ecologically friendly technology. I loved the absence of waste, forgoing the vats of chemistry for the clean precision of silicon and Apple Mac. A new generation of architects enthusiastically engaged in the digital experiment all keen to see where the journey would take us. Principal amongst them Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, who have been collaborators for over 25 years, from their first magazine front covers, to a coveted Stirling Prize and beyond.
Architectural photography is a profoundly personal experience. In making a commitment to examining each work in detail, we begin to form a larger picture of practice and a greater insight into the depth and quality of intent. While our task is making photographs of each recently completed work, we are also engaged in a more fascinating enquiry, as each new image becomes part of the discovery of the next new architecture.