As far back as I can remember, I have always taken photographs. Shooting vernacular photography as a kid, I would pour over my prints looking for ways to improve creatively. At first tentatively exploring composition, I was almost reluctant to push myself, perhaps a deeper knowledge telling me that if I started to explore my creativity it would be all consuming.
I chose instead to pursue matters of the mind, pushing my way through to train as a doctor. Matters of the heart were left as mere hobby, I invested in a point-and-shoot. Capturing grainy, low grade images on my phone was cutting it no more. I didn't stray from vernacular photography, happily documenting a period of my life I was convinced was correct.
Yet the excitement of studying medicine never matched the thrill of hearing the skeuomorphic shutter snap, the immediacy of the result incomparable. The shutter snaps and you freeze that moment, blurred or crystal sharp.
I never quite made it as a doctor, but I salvaged a career in clinical research that I hated. To numb the boredom, I began to explore photography through my iPhone, slowly building up a workflow that would distract my days at work. I started taking photos of all sorts of things. My feet, the floor, vegetables, the sky. The sky. Looking up, I couldn't escape the beauty of the London skyline, the starker the architecture the better.
My first dSLR was a Christmas present from my wife, four years ago. My obsession legitimised, I knew I could no longer hide this desire, people would eventually know photography is all I ever think about. But first I had to figure out how to use the thing.
Having a single subject matter enabled me to cut out the variables and concentrate on exposure and composition. Framing the shot became everything, the lure of exaggerated angles inescapable, yet slowly an obsession with symmetry took hold. And it had to be on point. No left-a-bit, right-a-bit excuses. I would return to the spot, getting closer by the millimetre to get the shot right.
It was about two years ago that I started to tire of looking up, instead staring at building fascias. The front aspect of a building in many ways resembles a face and it was through this spark that I tired altogether of shooting static, lifeless buildings, and started shooting people. I took most of a year out to hone this skill. Fearfully raising my camera to take a photo of a passing stranger, the fear seemed insurmountable. Yet the desire to change, to be able shoot street and improve this rudimentary skill was too overwhelming to simply hide away.
I took to the streets obsessively, gaining confidence to lift my camera, to prowl and seek out moments to capture — from cluelessly carrying the machine out in London, to outgrowing it, through to progressing to a full frame pro camera, I am now starting my life all over. I am a professional photographer and writer.