I wanted to be a photographer when I was 15, but my mother said I could always take it up later – so that was that for 30 years!
I ended up reading English at Oxford and working as a strategy consultant for a few years, both full-time and freelance, before 'retiring' at the age of 29! I then travelled round the world for seven years, doing four ski seasons and working on an internet start-up in San Francisco among other things, before finally returning to London in 2005. At that point, consulting work felt too stressful, so I decided to go 'quality of life'. I'm now a private tutor and wildlife photographer, both of which came about quite by chance.
I started tutoring in 2009 when I happened to read an article in the paper called 'Ten Ways to Beat the Recession', and I started taking pictures again in 2013 when I received a random email inviting me to go on safari and climb Mount Kenya. After investing in a decent camera, I've been a wildlife photographer ever since! I’ve taken pictures in 25 countries on all seven continents and won various awards including the Sunday Times/Audley Travel Big Shot competition.
As well as taking pictures myself, I'm also available as a photographer/guide for those interested in private safaris, and you can find details of all the trips I'm leading on the Events page.
My experience as a private tutor lets me be very patient and understanding with anyone who wants to get the best possible pictures on safari. On game drives, I'm always happy to answer questions, whether it’s about camera settings, the rules of composition or just identifying all the different species of wildlife. Back at the camp or lodge, I'll run various sessions to familiarise you with camera technique, provide feedback on your images, show you my ‘Shot of the Day’ and even invite you to take part in a photo competition.
I want to produce the most beautiful and powerful images I can, and I won’t be satisfied until I've captured a few images I think are worth five stars. These are my absolute favourite shots, and I've only produced around 150 of them over the years, so these are the special ones, the ones I'm most proud of. They can show any subject – not just wildlife – but they must convey the magic of being there.
I started out taking 'portraits' of animals. That was all very well, and a lion may look beautiful sitting on the African savannah or a jaguar prowling through the Brazilian Pantanal, but there isn't much energy in those pictures. What I try to do now is to produce 'action shots' when the bird or animal is in motion. I still take portraits - and sometimes you don't have a choice! - but my ideal image is much more likely to be a cheetah chasing down an impala than a bird perched on a branch!
My favourite animals are the predators, and the wonder of the long lens is that it can fool people into thinking they are right up close and personal with a very dangerous beast. It’s that sense of excitement that I try to capture in my work, and I'm happy to use whatever technology I can find to do the job. I regularly rent an 800mm Nikon lens for close-up shots, and I've just bought a Nikon D850 camera body with a 45.7 megapixel sensor and the ability to shoot nine frames per second. All that, combined with the wonders of Lightroom, gives me the best possible platform for capturing the power and beauty of the animal kingdom.
You can find more details of my trips and exhibitions plus a few articles about photographic techniques on my Blog, but here are a few highlights:
- sold over 7,000 images to buyers including the Evening Standard, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, Express, Daily Mail Online and Lonely Planet
- sold my best-selling shot of a jumping Adélie penguin over 1,000 times, and it even appeared on a poster inside the hero's locker on the US TV show Atypical!
- provided the cover picture for a magazine
- sold 38 prints to private collectors
- sold over 200 greetings cards and postcards at exhibitions and through Gerhold in Putney and Willow Bough Tea Rooms
- worked for clients including a tennis club, a milliner, a local councillor, a tuition agency and a procurement consultancy
- published books on Predators & Prey. India, Antarctica and a local wedding
- held solo exhibitions at the Norman Plastow Gallery in Wimbledon Village and at 508 King's Road
- took part in Glaziers' Art Fair, Parallax Art Fair, PhotoX Awards 2018 at the Menier Gallery and various group shows at 508 King's Road and Gabriel Fine Art
- had three images shown at the Saatchi Gallery
- took part in see | me exhibitions on Facebook and in New York
- was chosen for the online art galleries at Art Bridge, Artfinder, Art Gallery, The Art Online Gallery, Artlimes, Printscapes, Rise Art and Saatchi Art.
- won the weekly Sunday Times/Audley Travel Big Shot competition (and was runner-up twice)
- won Best in Show at Fusion Art's 3rd Annual Animal Kingdom Art Exhibition in January 2018 (and was an Exhibition Finalist with three other images - see video)
- won first place in Art Room Gallery's 'Nature' competition in March 2018 (see video)
- won the Exodus Travels Monthly Photo Competition (and was runner-up)
- won SINWP's 'In the Wild' Photography Competition (and finished second, with four other images Highly Commended), which led to stories in The Times, Express, The Sun, The Daily Star and the Mail Online, followed by an interview on London Live!
- won Picture Frames Express's 'All Creatures Great and Small' competition
- won Gold Awards in the Wildlife and Nature categories of The Societies Photographic Competition
- won National Geographic's Photo of the Day award twice (here and here), both images being chosen for Best of Photo of the Day 2017, and was chosen for the National Geographic Daily Dozen
- reached the second round of the Natural History Museum's 2018 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition
- won the Judge’s Award in four Pixoto competitions (Best Zebra, Wolves, The Art of Fly Fishing and Only Yellow Birds)
- was included in the editors' favourites for the National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest 2016
- was runner-up several times in The Daily Telegraph's weekly Big Picture competition (here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here)
- was one of the Editors' Picks in The Independent Photographer's Emerging Talent Award
- provided one of the Editors' Picks in the ZEISS Photography Award 2018
- was chosen by 508 King's Road as an artist-in-residence
- was chosen by LUMIarts as their Artist in Focus
- was chosen by stock agency Pond5 for their Instagram Takeover on 9 May 2018
- recorded six wildlife photography videos with Coinaphoto, covering Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, South America and the polar regions
- gave photography talks on an Antarctic cruise ship and at the SW19 Women's Institute, Malden Camera Club, Watford Camera Club, Putney Library and the London Institute of Photography (LIoP)
- helped run a photography course at a local library
- gave lessons to eight amateur photographers
- had a shot of a Bengal tiger chosen to appear in the Exodus Travels 2018 calendar
- had an image chosen by The Photographer Academy for their Photo Critique
- received over 21,000 likes on the National Geographic Instagram page for my elephant giving itself a dust bath and nearly 25,000 likes for my bear catching a salmon!
- joined the Society of International Nature and Wildlife Photographers (SINWP)