I was born in Hampstead but grew up in Essex. I hated boarding school. One salvation was to hide away in the darkroom, so I did a lot of photography. I left when I was 15, which caused lots of agro as the minimum was 16, and got a job in a garage. I did my A levels at evening classes.
Malcolm Bradbury offered me a place to read English at UEA on the strength of my short stories, but my mum was short of money so I decided to get a job instead. For 10 years I was a yuppie, insuring race horses in Lloyds and had a suitably excessive life. But then I grew up.
I realised I should have gone to uni, so, lack of ambition or modesty never being a problem for me, I applied to Oxford. I studied under the great Wordsworth scholar Stephen Gill, an amazing man, not least in his patience in having a pupil like me. Most of my work was located in the poetry of landscape or writing on its aesthetics and Oxford gave me the time I had not had for a decade to take lots of photographs.
I tried to get into the Royal College of Art to do an MA, got down to the final shortlist of 25 or so for interview, but did not get one of the handful of places. So, once again, practicality meant I went and got a job.
At uni I had helped fundraise on the phone for Lincoln College. I had raised good money and they asked me to work in their Development Office. I did this and then at other places for several years and over that time quite a few places asked my advice on how to do telephone fundraising. In the end, I set up a consultancy. It grew and grew, because every university and school in the world is short of money and now we have offices in the UK, Australia and Hong Kong. We are now even doing campaigns in mainland China.
The business is demanding, but it gave me one important thing: access to extensive travel. I did not waste it. I take my camera wherever I go. Sometimes I only have time for the cities, and so I concentrate on street photography and urban landscapes. Sometimes I can get out to the country and I do my other love, landscapes. But there isn’t so much difference between either. I don’t pose portraits, so both styles are about finding my response of the world as I find it: an interplay between what is and what I can make it.
Old Chapel Gallery, Pembridge
The Thomas Shop, Pen-y-bont
All the World’s a Stage, Chipping Norton Theatre, July 2011
In the Eye of the Beholder, Chipping Norton Theatre, September 2011
Cotswold Scene, O3 Gallery, Oxford, November 2010
Rhayader in Nature, Rhayader Museum, April 2011
VII International Photography Exhibition, National Park Fruska Gora, Serbia, Summer 2011
Flowers and Gardens of the World, Swerford Open Gardens, June 2012 - a mixed exhibition with my three daughters, Charlotte, Henrietta and Eloise
h.Art, Old Chapel Gallery, Pembridge, September 2012
Sights of Wonder (with Andrew Farmer and Ann Bromley), Bleddfa Centre for the Creative Spirit, April 2013
Shooting Landscapes – the Talk, Kington Walking Festival, Thurs 19 September 2013
Shooting Landscapes – the Walk, Kington Walking Festival, Sat 21 September 2013
Violet Vaughan Morgan prize for English, University of Oxford, 1993
Winner My Cotswolds section, Cotswold Scene 2010
Judges Special Reserve, Rhayader in Nature 2011
Runner-up, Trees competition, Oxford Today, 2011
Photo of the Day on www.photoradar.com, March 2011
Winner Family & Friends section, Digital Camera Photographer of the Year 2011
From the Marches to the Sea – a photographic journey, Logaston Press, 2011
Kington Walks Photography Competition 2012
Kington Walks Photography Competition 2013