Well I can always look back at portraits of me like the one above and, actually, I don’t think my mother did a bad job at all with the camera. I’m not sure about the dress code though…always time for rounded collars to come back in fashion I suppose. In a strange way I look quietly comfortable despite the probable indignity of being put in a tie as well. Such small details.
For me, portraits are about revealing something of the character of your sitter or of their situation. Whether looking directly at the camera, running straight past or involved in their own surroundings, an image of someone needs to engage you – the viewer – in the character which then connects you. I’ve photographed many portraits in different ways but always – as the photographer – look for that connection and how I identify with those in view of the camera. In many ways that connection with people, and those small details, are more influential than the composition and look of the final photograph.
I live on the border of Lancashire and West Yorkshire with my wife Victoria and my two children Louie and Ava. It is with these poor people, and Vince our dog, that I take many a portrait. I think they are quietly comfortable with my photographs of them as I seemed with mine all those years ago. I might have got a strand or two of creativity from my mother but at least I’m not so hot on ties and collars..