It started with envy.
Every year growing up I watched the Oscars from our home in Cootamundra, Australia, and would be left feeling furious with envy that I wasn't in that world of acting characters followed by glamour. I always thought in camera angles and couldn't listen to a song without visualising how the music video would look, (which I still do). The older I got the more I appreciated theatre and when I suggested going to drama school, my father, perhaps wisely, suggested I get a trade first to get me through drama school and to 'have something to fall back on'. I come from a family of tradespeople. My incredibly supportive parents gave me my first camera, a Ricoh KR-5 Mk3 (which I still use on holidays), when I was 16 and my school had great darkroom facilities and an excellent art teacher, Miss Sprang, who really got my head into photography.
The trade I entered was hairdressing and I still today am barbering in Edinburgh. I shot photos casually for the last 17 years I have been in the hairdressing / barbering industry. The trade gave me the freedom to travel and one year when living and working in a salon in Dublin, Ireland, I took night classes at the Gaiety School of Acting where I realised that not only was I terrible at accents, but also actors make great models for photography. They live to tell stories with their stance.
A mad nine months in a salon in London before finally arriving in stunning Edinburgh, Scotland, where I met my partner, Arthur, (on the third day! There is a story there...) and he tolerated me while I completed two years studying a HND in Photography at Edinburgh College. It was an awakening! Passionate lecturers, fantastic facilities and great classmates (The Grantonites!) all helped me realise how photography can fit into my life. There is room for everything.
I couldn't have done any of this without the people around me.
Is this my Oscar acceptance speech?!
(Note: I only have a moustache for Movember… I just like this shot.)