I started photographing when I lived in Jakarta, Indonesia. I wanted to be a tropical Eugene Atget, photographing the godowns, temples and mosques of the city. After leaving Jakarta, I travelled around Asia with my wife photographing environmental, travel and historical stories on topics such as seaweed farming and poverty alleviation, the birthplace of Mao, the villagers of Komodo and the myth of Shangri-La for newspapers and magazines.
Then our daughter was born, we settled and I did an MA in Documentary Photography at Newport. I started writing for publications like the Far Eastern Economic Review and the British Journal of Photography. I also helped care for my daughter and started photographing what was close to me in every way – my home, my wife and my daughter.
Sofa Portraits come from that period of intense domesticity, and fits into a wider project on the different ages of childhood and the different visual stages that connect to those ages. My book All Quiet on the Home Front is a continuation of that project as are my Broken Camera Pictures, due to be published in 2020.
I continue to write on photography for the BJP, Photomonitor, Photographic Museum of Humanity, Source Magazine and other publications. I am also writing a year long series of posts on photography, truth and storytelling for World Press Photo. In 2018 I co-wrote and edited Magnum China, a book that details the history and evolution of Magnum photography in China.
I currently teach photography at a number of universities across the southwest of England including Bath Spa University, UWE and the University of Gloucestershire. In my teaching I emphasise the integration of theory with practice, and developing different narrative drives within image making. In a world where we are saturated with images, it’s the story that matters.