My grandfather, Victor Alec Norman, introduced me to photography in the early 1980 so I grew up shooting blurry pictures of civil & military airplanes from a field near his little flower nursery next to USAF Mildenhall with a 35mm Voigtländer. I have shot film ever since, but my current professional work in the field began when I was hired by Rough Trade Records to make a video for a Josienne Clarke single. Since then, I’ve worked with many musicians & artists, on classic studio portraits, location shoots, album artwork, promotional shots, etc. As a musician myself, I am handy at understanding how images link to sounds, helping you create the look & feel your music deserves.
I’m a creative photographer, I like using obstruction & aberrations to tell stories with images – my best work usually has ‘something in the way’. If I told you what it was, you would likely not believe me, because it is usually just whatever is there. With enough technical knowledge, instinct for experimentation & experience of how light & people behave under different conditions, anything is possible. I try to avoid ‘experiments for experiments sake’, though, and let my wanderings down the infinite corridors of light be guided by the brief – WHY would we do this? There is often a reason, but if we need crystal clarity, then we can have that, too.
I do not subscribe to the view that art is a magical once-in-a-lifetime secret opportunity that you need mysterious hidden knowledge to master. It isn’t. Some people grow up in a house with a music room containing a piano & a cello & a harp and learn that stuff from the day they were born & some people do not.
If you didn’t, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn. Those privileged people have all the same things as you can have, but you might need a leg up to find out things that others were just born with. This doesn’t make them better than you, just luckier.
If you care about a thing, learn it, practice it, ask questions of people who know, improve by failing a little harder every day & eventually, you will be the thing that you feel like you are.
That’s what happened to me.
My photographs all have the metadata attached so if you care, you can see what settings I used. Click through the galleries to see the detail. I shoot in manual mode because I’m a control freak but it’s nothing you can’t do yourself. If you’d like a workshop or a photo walk, or to have me show you anything you’d like to know, then I’ll help you. If you know what you want but don’t know how to ask, then I can probably understand and help you articulate, capture & translate your visual ideas into an image that you will love.
I use Adobe Lightroom for editing and can deliver your images in any format you require. I’m happy to collaborate on edits. I will take you from the original concept to delivery of the format you need.
Whatever the challenges, I have likely faced them before and I know that what you need is a photograph of you, your band or your subject that will enhance, explain & maybe even sell your work, and I can do that, from start to finish.
I admit that I am something of an equipment nerd, I think you sort of have to be, but ultimately, I try to let what I own & use be determined by what I am trying to do. I am currently shooting with a Fujifilm GFX100s with a GF 80mm f/1.7 lens. Digital medium format is an addictive thing, a deep & expensive rabbit hole but nothing else does that.
I also have a Pentax 67 mirror lock up with a metered prism 120 medium format film camera. I have the classic 105mm f/2.4 lens for it but my favourite is the SMC 75mm f/2.8 AL. There is no better combination of camera & lens than the Pentax 67 with the 75mm lens. It’s magical, and usually takes that one special photograph that everyone chooses for their cover. It’s a difficult set-up to use & maintain, but the results are worth the hassle!
I shoot with Kodak Portra 400 film for colour, using Portra 160 film if we’re outside in the day or Portra 800 film if we need to be in a darker room. I love Kodak 400TX film for black & white photography. I try to keep a supply of all those films in my fridge, but prices being what they are, that’s not always possible.
I shoot 35mm on a Canon F-1. Still brilliant after all these years.
I have a Profoto 3 strobe light set up (2* D2 1000 & 1 B10+) with a flight case full of modifiers, gels, softboxes, hard light adapters, mirrors, oils, sheets of voile, drapes, prisms, gemstones, crystals, skulls, anything needed!
I use my Profoto strobe kit with all my cameras, including the Pentax 67 120 medium format camera, meaning we can do on location flash photography on 120 medium format, thanks to the excellent capability that Profoto kit provides.
My bag of tricks also has various Tiffen black pro-mist filters, some PolarPro NDs & a big collection of PrismFX filters.