I am a massive football fan and I have really enjoyed combining this with photography. The 2018 World Cup in Russia was a great chance to do this. My favourite moment came when England beat Colombia on penalties, the contrasting emotion in all the areas of the image with the heartbroken Colombia players and Gareth Southgate celebrating in the top left corner. It was a great moment for me as an England fan and this photograph will help me to remember that moment and feeling forever.
More recently, going behind the scenes at the Etihad Stadium for the Soccer Aid charity match and shooting pitchside during an FA WSL game at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium were both special experiences. Being able to forever remember the emotions surrounding these big sporting moments through a photograph is special.
Wildlife isn't the only area I am interested in when it comes to photography, but it is definitely the subject focus I have the most experience with. The quote by Henri Cartier-Bresson: “your first 10,000 photographs are your worst" is the reality, and I don't think I have shared many of my first 10,000. I took the picture of the bear on the hill in 2014 in Alaska. The week after I had taken this, we made a small print of it at the studio. It was a really cool moment to see an image I had taken being printed and it was something that inspired me to learn and get better.
The second image, "Fuzz", was taken on the exact same field of tundra in Funnel Creek seven years later (August 2021). I had shot well over 10,000 pictures in the time between these images, and I think it shows. There is no doubt that a key change has been the technology, and I'm very lucky to be using such amazing cameras. I have also learnt a lot over the last 7 years whilst taking pictures, on the technical side but also when it comes to visual composition. It's also slightly easier being within 50 meters of a grizzly bear when you're 18 years old as opposed to 11. To have seen this printed with a width of 81 inches was really special.
Over the last few years, I have taken a few images like "Fuzz" that I think are worth sharing. It is amazing to know that these pictures are hanging in people's homes and have been exhibited at certain shows. I have been really fortunate to have seen so much of the world's biodiversity in the last seven years and when you are exposed to that it makes you realise how important it is that we are sustainable and look after the planet we are simply caretakers of. The more time you spend with these animals, the more you question the humanity of people who put them in harm's way. I was grateful to have been a part of the Prints for Wildlife campaigns over the last two years which have collectively raised over $1.75m for the African Parks Network.