Photography for me is about so much more than producing technically perfect images or reproducing subjects in pin-sharp detail. These approaches of course, have their place and in the majority of cases are absolutely essential with as much technical expertise as possible - especially in my work with artwork reproductions and cultural heritage photography, where image integrity is absolutely essential. Similarly, other areas in which I have worked such as photojournalism, press and sports photography obviously require absolute integrity in faithful reproduction and technical excellence.
However, I am referring here to my more creative work - a place where I can simply indulge my own visions, to try and convey something of what I feel rather than necessarily what I see. Where I produce my own images for my own enjoyment and not to meet a brief or suit anyone else.
This is what I love about photography in that it can accommodate these very different approaches, suit different purposes and produce such very different results.
This was difficult to reconcile initially, as when I first rediscovered photography it was this dichotomy that troubled me - on the one hand, I wanted to be a good photographer and take excellent images which faithfully reproduced what I had seen, which was essential for the assignments I was undertaking. On the other hand, in my own work I wanted to explore, experiment, try other approaches explore originality and creativity - in other words to make images rather than just take them. I needed to be true to myself.
I struggled with this concept for some time, listening to the purists and the visionaries but unable to quite reconcile it in my head. I played around a bit and tried things out but it was always a kind of guilty secret. It was only whilst doing an MA in Fine Art that I was finally able to gain the confidence to shed the shackles - I ventured out one day and just threw away all of the 'rules', ignored the fear of making mistakes and just indulged myself. What a liberation.
It was not really until I reviewed those images afterwards that I fully appreciated what I had done - I had found a way of creating images that were true to me and finally, I was able to express myself through my photography.
I knew then that this was what I had to do.