Why I photograph

I began exploring photography in the early 1980s, alongside painting and ceramics, but after dropping out of art school, I moved to London to study Humanities and fell into a career in web development. Twenty years or so later, I discovered my passion for photography during my travels around India. The turning point was my involvement in the Street Photography Now Project in 2011, which really ignited my interest in street photography. 

I’ve managed to improve my technical competence and learn more about what interests me by exploring various genres, from covering conferences and events for employers to photographing babies, landscape photography in Scotland and hundreds of hours of street and travel photography.  I became interested in documentary photography a few years ago, realising that it was human interest stories that captured my attention, and I love photographing people.

I’ve learned to use cameras mainly through trial and error. In the early days, this was using anything I could get my hands on, from a Kodak Instamatik to a Polaroid and an Olympus Trip. My kit has progressed from simple point-and-shoot to bridging cameras. Then, to the very beautiful but impractical Olympus Pen F. I was never really sure what direction I wanted to go in, so I bought a Canon 5D and lots of lenses and experimented with the landscape, portrait and street, switching lenses as I went. After struggling with the weight and bulkiness, I swapped all the Canon gear for a Sony A7RIII and another vast array of more practical lenses. 

However, realising that I was unlikely to cover any more events and only the occasional portrait shoot, and with much of this kit staying at home, I sold everything for a Leica Q2. It’s not perfect, but I find it covers all my needs, and I no longer feel overwhelmed by my kit, camera menus and which bag to take.

None of this really answers the question of why I photograph. I guess it’s a combination of all of the above and the simple act of enjoying observing people. It’s just a mechanical/digital version of sitting in a Greek taverna on a Saturday afternoon, watching people go by, and being endlessly fascinated by human nature.