A former colleague sent me a link to Bryan Adams’ photographic work and I was stunned – not only can he make a girl weak at the knees with his voice (and pensive lyrics), but with his photography too.
You started off photographing friends and then doing your own album covers. When did you realise that you wanted to take your passion for photography further?
I started to get calls from magazines; I had no idea it would end up this way, but it has and I love it.
Did you receive any form of photographic training?
I learnt how to do things the hard way, trial and error. In fact, I still work a little like that. Experimentation is what leads to something happening creatively.
Please tell us what is in your photographic gear bag?
I carry a case full of lenses and bodies, batteries, hard drives, and cables for my Phase One digital back.
What is your favourite lens and why?
I love Zeiss lenses, but sadly they don’t make them for Mamiya. I’ve even asked if they would make a mount for me. As far as Mamiya lenses are concerned, they are amazing too – the 110mm is my primary lens and there are also the 140mm or 150mm for portraits.
What would you say is your most memorable shoot to date, and why?
There are so many – I suppose working on my book “Wounded – The Legacy of War” was the most memorable. I photographed around 30 severely wounded veterans from the British Armed Forces that had returned from Iraq and Afghanistan for my book and exhibition at Somerset House, London. It was a humbling experience.
The images in your book: Wounded, are moving and in some sense uncomfortable to look at. I think people want to remain ignorant since the reality of it all makes them feel uneasy. Please elaborate on the thought process behind the photography and the book.
Precisely the point in doing it. We need to see what happens when we go to war. We can’t constantly hide our heads in the sand and not expect to learn from our mistakes. So many people were coming back in pieces during those wars and the world lost so many people. I daren’t think what it was like on the Iraqi or Afghanistani sides. General Lord Dannatt commented that when he saw the photos, that most of them would have been dead had it not been for the skilled field staff and the medical techniques they have today, which enable them to deal with severely wounded people on the battlefield. I’m fairly sure the other side didn’t have those facilities.
What project are you currently working on?
I’ve just released a book on black sand called ‘Untitled’ and I’m in the process of making another book or study on people which I can’t talk too much about as it’s only half done.
What will we currently find on your playlist?
Besides being a talented musician and photographer, do you have any other talents not many people may know of?
I can touch my nose with my tongue. Does that count?
What is your favourite place to visit in South Africa and why?
I love the coast – Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth… just beautiful.