It's always great to compare the work you did when you first started out to the work you produce now and (hopefully!) see the progress come to fruition. In a slight twist on that though, I found some images of me at work over the last 8 years or so. I thought it would be fun to showcase some behind-the-scenes images of some of the tasks I've been involved with and you can count the wrinkles as they appear!
For those of you who don't know, I started my professional photography career with the Armed Forces. Here's a shot of me (chimping at the back!) during those early days in training along with British Army Photographer, Andy, at the Defence School of Photography at RAF Cosford.
Thrown in at the deep end with the RAF Search and Rescue teams. Here I am being winched onto a Sea-King from a boat in the North Sea, so that I could cover the Typhoon pilots during their sea-drills (where they simulate being downed over the water and are then rescued by the SaR guys).
Not long after this I was onto my first air-to-air. From briefing the pilots involved, to being medically certified and to being kitted out, this was a real baptism of fire. The task was to cover a Tornado GR4 over the Battle of Britain Memorial over the South coast, in a Hawk for 41(R)Sqns 95th anniversary. The images were later printed in a brochure.
Here I am, desperately hoping I wont ruin my first air-to-air job and hoping I won't be the guy that throws up.
I soon settled into the role though and before long we were pulling 7G. I even found time to grab a selfie!
I soon learned that the biggest lesson with air-to-air photography was to remain cheerful in the face of adversity. Here I am failing miserably at that, as the Dakota I'm sat in blows an engine while the Spitfire I'm supposed to be shooting taxis behind us.
Fortunately the anguish soon faded and I was tasked with photographing the 9-ship Diamond Typhoon formation for HM the Queen's Diamond Jubilee flypast. The job involved 9G and photographing the formation from above, inverted!
After that I was sent to play in the sand. Not many images of me there other than this video-grab of me working with the Explosive-Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams.
Back in the UK and I landed my dream job - spending a week as crew onboard the Lancaster bomber. My home for the trip was predominantly the rear turret (pictured here). Sometimes on the high-profile jobs you wonder whether the hype will match the reality, but in this case I am happy to report that it definitely does. Easily the best working week I have had as a photographer!
Cheeky selfie over the channel!
After a great year and winning the acclaim of being crowned 'RAF Photographer of the Year' I took the unusual decision of leaving my job and becoming a civilian again so I could spend more time doing this - my first automotive shoot with an Aston Martin Vanquish.
Now able to grow a beard again and working out of the studio.
Nice back to working with a team again, offering to help out with the lighting in their video.
Plus it would be rude not to bring my own car and dog along!
More recently, back with another Aston - this time a brand new DB11. I know I look gormless here, but in my defence I didn't know the pic was being taken!
Finally working with drones and having a laugh with the guy flying it. He kindly screen-grabbed this and sent me it...my mother would be proud!
So there we have it, from fresh-faced to now!