Who am I?
I didn't always want to be a photographer... When I was in primary school I wanted to be an astronaut but NASA never called. I got over it eventually.
I came to photography obliquely through a mild climbing and kayaking obsession: perhaps it was less planned than simply inevitable. As I grew older my imagination grew too and along with it came visions of what could happen if I didn't make the next move on a climb or missed my line on the next rapid... I learned that there was as much satisfaction in getting a good photograph of someone else scaring the wits out themselves as there was facing my own mortality on the end of a rope. From there it was an easy transition to landscape photography, which laid the solid Geek foundation that I've built the rest of my skills upon.
In time people started coming to me to take photographs for them. Some were friends asking me to shoot their weddings or bands, sometimes it was an outdoor gear manufacturer looking for product shots. I started shooting landscapes, weddings and events regularly. I learned to working to a brief, handle the logistics, fancy flash techniques and all sorts of technical gubbins that has to be second nature when you're on a job.
I started contributing regularly to the likes of The Great Outdoors Magazine, who still regularly send me off to remote areas in Scotland on obscure and wonderful briefs: I had a total of five covers for them last year including a bookazine on Scottish Walking.
My client list continues to grow and regular clients now include Aberdeen Asset Management, Red Bull and the Keswick Mountain Festival among others. I've been sent all over the UK and beyond. My landscapes have been bought by corporate clients from as far afield as Davos and New York.
I've also been exceptionally lucky to shoot some stunning weddings all over the country, from Cullen to Camusdarach, Devon to Wales and even Portugal. I was recently on the BBC's One Show, in a feature on the solar eclipse, and have previously featured on both the Fred MacAuley Show and on Scotland Outdoors, both occasions where I think I can reasonably claim to have been the best photographer on the radio all morning.
I may never be an astronaut, but this is the best job in the world.
I still dearly love being out in the hills shooting landscapes but I also equally love shooting events and weddings. Getting to know a couple as their plans come together and then being a part of their day with them makes for a particularly satisfying way to make a living. I think that each different genre complements the others. At a fundamental level photography is about storytelling and each discipline brings me a new set of skills that I can draw from on any given job.
At the end of the day, I'm doing something I love, and that's what it's all about. There may well be easier ways to earn a crust, but photography is something you do because you are compelled to. My advice to you would be that if you're looking for a photographer for something, anything at all, make sure you book someone that loves what they're doing. Because that matters. I'm not sure how or why it happens exactly, but it definitely comes across in the photographs they take.