How I got here

Photo of Kodak Junior II folding camera
Kodak Junior II Folding Camera

This is where it started

When I was young, my Grandfather gave me a camera, a Kodak Junior II folding camera: the very one you see here. It still wears the labels that my gramps stuck to it to remind him how it worked. Most of the time, I took such things apart to find out how they worked which is something they never did again. But, this item was different: I learned to use it and it still works today and remains in its original box.

I took snap shots, family shots, holiday pictures. Just like everybody else and, at this time, all in black and white – Sadly, I no longer know where any of these photos are.

I had no understanding of composition and my father told me to always shoot with the sun behind me. Armed with a Western Lightmeter, I quickly began to understand exposure. I couldn’t afford not to: film and processing weren’t cheap. At school, I was just about the only pupil to use the dark room and was even trusted with the key. Yet, photography wasn’t my only passion; I was a tech geek. I knew more about computing than some of the computing teachers and this is where I went in my career.


I landed a job on Popular Computing Weakly (sic), a leading home computing magazine in the 1980s. I had numerous roles, rising ultimately to Assistant Editor. But, having no budget for a photographer, I did lots of shots for publication, documenting events, shows and reviews.

In future journalistic roles at other publishers, I acted as photographic assistant and photo director in the company’s main photographic studio where I gained a great deal of understanding over lighting, settings and so much more.

During my time with one publisher, I got a commission from “Photography” magazine to interview Elliott Erwitt for his new book On The Beach in a hotel in Islington, London. I was young and I am sure this world-famous photographer thought I was a fool. He was probably right.

My favourite photo of my time in publishing was the shot of Jean Michel Jarre which you can see here. This hand-held shot uses available light. It was shot at night at quite close range upon the floating stage during the rehearsals for Destination Docklands concert. I am incredibly proud of it: it is able to bring back memories and with a mind as frazzled as mine, that’s one heck of an achievement. This shot was never published; I had simply gone along to rehearsals with no brief or commission with a home-made press card which was enough to get past security.

Photo of Jean Michel Jarre at the Docklands Concert, London 1988
Jean Michel Jarre
Thurne Mill – Norfolk Broads

Post Publishing

Later in my career, I developed web sites offering photographic services on the back of this and later still I founded a boating holiday business on the Norfolk Broads and relied once more on my own photographic skills for all imagery for publicity, whether for the web site, leaflets or adverts.

Whilst the business was successful, it was a huge amount of stress and work for little reward and it had ruined my mental heath and irrevocably ruined my family. It an attempt to recover, we closed the business after 14 years, but it seems it was too late to save relationships which I were unaware were so bad.

My life is now full of photography, film-making, running the few holiday cottages we have. Sadly, there is little else left. Whilst I try to rebuild relationships, these seem almost impossible with massive resistance and refusal to even talk from some quarters.

Photography for mental health

My mental health is poor these days. I struggle with motivation and I struggle with anxiety more than at any other time in my life. My glass is feels considerably less than Half Empty.

Photography gives me a release, but even that is hard. Just leaving the house is difficult. I search for small wins in compositions, chase light on the landscape in the hope of capturing it forevermore with my camera and I feel deflated when I fail.

If it weren’t for my YouTube channel, I would probably stop taking photos

But I have little else left. Rising costs, worsening mental state and a fading silver line in the clouds give rise to dark thoughts which I know are bad for me and I know that just the minor success of a half-decent shot can turn things around. It is the small things. The smile of a viewer of a shot. The compliment. Heck even the like and share of a shot. These things all make a difference.

Representation of a human brain floating in a colourful background of blues yellows greens etc.
Mental Health

And so I share my work with you. I hope you will all like it enough to follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Vero and YouTube. I hope you will one day join me on a workshop if I can ever get the confidence to run one.

If you’re reading this in 2023, wish me luck and maybe even Buy Me a Coffee. If you’re reading this in 2025, I may have made. If my social media uploads have ceased, I probably didn’t.