Growing up in Bristol and going to camera club with my Dad in the 1970s I was told to have some red in the foreground and always make sure the sun was behind me before pressing the shutter. Nowadays, living in Wincanton in south Somerset and photographing gardens for a living, I constantly do the reverse, shooting into the sun to capture the animating light that illuminates the tissues of plants like the humming hot bulb of a slide projector brings to life a small piece of celluloid. I avoid the sun a lot too; light is a powerful thing and too much can destroy an image altogether.
I've always used a camera, though professionally only since 2004. Before that I was an artist and then a gardener, and my attempt to fuse those two things has brought me to the wonderful, creative place I spend most of my time now: making pictures of and writing about gardens and plants, hunting out weird and wonderful places and stories, and meeting people who are bonkers about a particular plant, who make beautiful spaces in which to spend time, and who practice horticulture professionally with immense skill and creativity.
Nowadays my features appear regularly in magazines including The English Garden, The Garden, Landscape Magazine and Country Living and my images have appeared in many books, calendars and other commercial products produced in the UK and abroad. I'm a member of the Professional Garden Photographers' Association and the Garden Media Guild and am represented by GAP Photos.
2020 has been a challenging year for all of us, and most of my planned shoots were scrapped, shoved back to 2021, but there have been a few bright spots: an image of the Collector Earl's Garden at Arundel Castle was a finalist in the Black and White Competition of IGPOTY 14 (International Garden Photographer of the Year); and one of the Parish House, Wiltshire was a finalist in the Square Crop Competition. Better still I've been shortlisted for three Garden Media Guild Awards: Features Photographer of the Year; Portfolio Photographer of the Year; and Journalist of the Year.
I love what I do and hope that comes through in the images I make.