Authors Photographer

Authors Photography

image- Sir Michael Morpurgo 

I have always been interested in the ARTS, as a child I would happily wander around Birmingham’s Museum & Art Gallery, looking at the paintings, sculpture and artefacts. The theatre, cinema and tv were part of my life and I was so lucky to have access to these worlds through my father who was a portrait and stills photographer working in television and the theatre.

My love of cinema and the arts propelled me into photography, I  rejected my fathers area of work and produced work that was more commercial and advertising photography became my life. Working in many genre I carved out a career but early on I shot on location with landscapes as the subject or backdrop to the product or service. I shot hundreds of cars for brochures and ads and produced landscapes that were shot for a variety of products and services, strangely carpets in the Maldives, Scotch Whiskey in the Seychelles and airline destinations across the globe.

But all the time I kept my love for the arts and continued taking portraits often producing personal projects.

After many years of professional photography I am still enjoying every day as a commercial photographer and delivering images in many genre, but I am more and more shooting headshots and portraits of actors, authors & artists.

Maybe because they are my tribe?

No – I photograph all sorts of people because everyone is interesting, everyone is always interested in the arts, so all people are my subjects and hopefully I produce my art when I take their portrait?

As a child you often reject the world of your parents, the classic teenage rebellion can carry on too long and becoming a photographer was probably inevitable but I did choose a different area of photography, my father certainly was more involved with the arts, as a stills photographer on many BBC dramas and ATV productions. I choose to follow the Advertising side, although I would find portraits and lifestyle a large part of my repertoire, it was my large format landscapes that became popular and naturally I followed the money!

It took the banking crash of 2009 and a few personal incidents to change my practice, while shooting an advertising campaign in New Zealand for O2, I realised that I had to return to Worcestershire England to find a change of economic climate that meant that a reasonable run of work just stopped! The Phone & Emails stoped, the bills didn’t!

I was already studying Part Time for my Masters in Visual communication as I had started lecturing at a couple of Uni’s, so change was happening, but my personal work then moved into another phase.

I shot a project ‘In The American West Midlands’ and won the West Midlands Art prize for a portrait fro the project.

‘Art for Art’s sake, money for God’s Sake.’ Had been my mantra but when I realised I could be a real artist , my motivation changed.

I have since worked on many charity projects that are people based, so that continues with people at the core of my work both commercial and my art practice.

In 2014 I got involved with what was an Art Festival in Stratford upon Avon, I set up a pop-Up Studion in the Town centre and took portraits of those involved with the festival and selected subjects, creating a body of work ‘Bards Town Portraits’. Sadly the festival did not receive funding and the project faltered.

It was then that I discovered the wonderful Stratford Literary Festival that had enjoyed a few years of success and was a perfect fit for a portrait based project. I am grateful for the way the festival allowed me to set up another pop up studio and start producing portraits of those authors and personalities who featured in the festival but also those involved with the festival, Annie Ashworth the festival’s director and her team have continued to grow this wonderful cultural jewel despite many challenges, I am grateful to be part of the festival and continue to capture the Authors, actors and artists who feature in the ongoing project.

The work shall be archived in Birmingham’s Central Library Archive along with my work from the last 50 years  and also at a location in Stratford on Avon to be confirmed hopefully in 2025.

My portraits of the Authors that have been involved are naturally featured on a dedicated website for the project and the whole body of work can be seen here:

Stratford Festival Faces.

I have since starting this project in 2015 gone on to be commissioned to take many portraits of authors for themselves or their publiser. If anyone is interested on commissioning me, I would be delighted to discuss without obligation, a chat before a photographic session is very important, if possible I like to read some if not all of their work and collaborate with the author about the nature of the portait, from wardrobe, to location if appropriate. The images are very useful for marketing and communication and certain appreciated when scheduling talks and for the reviews.