Hi Michael, thank you for taking the time to answer some questions. We should probably start at the beginning, when and how did you come about getting into the world of photography?
"By accident really. I used to do a bit of astronomy and decided to try astro-photography. About 18 months ago I bought a cheap body off eBay to have a go but it didn't work with the light pollution here so just gave up really. A friend who is a photographer talked me into going to a studio with him, fashion type shoot, and I enjoyed it. Being a bit of a nerd I was fascinated by the effects and changes to the image the lighting could make.
I messed around on a couple of studio days but I did start to tire of it and kind of gave up. One day I noticed a casting call from a model on Purpleport called Marmalade, she did all this stuff in derelict buildings and it fascinated me. I spent a couple of hours with her in an old mortuary and I was hooked, haven't really shot much else since. Still shoot with Marmalade (urbexmodel.com), we became really good friends, though she is no longer on Purpleport."
I have a particular problem with self confidence. This confidence issue can and has caused me many challenges when it comes to my photography. Do you find any aspects of photography particularly challenging?
"I think self confidence affects all photographers in some way or another. I'm never totally happy with my images, always can see things I wish I had done better. I think the issue for me is there are so many amazing photographers out there you feel you can never compete. Have to remind myself it isn't a competition! The way a lot of sites and indeed life is now can really push the competition aspect if you aren't careful. It is so easy to get hooked up on the how many loves or likes thing."
Photography, especially online, tends to fall into specific genres and/or gets described as being a specific style. The trouble with this is it's quite subjective, the style someone views an image to be can often differ to the style the person creating it views it as. How would you describe the work you are putting out there?
"Majority of my images are nudes in abandoned places. I try to make it an even mix of the two elements. I don't want people to see it as just nudes so where I can I try to make it an image that would be interesting without the model in it. I do take urbex images as well and often go out without a model just to visit and shoot derelict places, they have both become a passion, it is about the places themselves, they aren't just a dirty studio."
In my series 'Foto Inspiration Friday' I share the people, images, places etc that I find give me inspiration. Who, or what, or where do you draw inspiration from?
"I'm really new to the whole photography scene, I'm self taught for the most part and don't really know any photographers or photography history. I do hang about Flickr Groups quite a bit and some of the photographers who do similar stuff to me on the continent produce some amazing work. You would think there isn't much similarity between a Villa in Tuscany and a vandalised Brickyard in Sussex but there often is!"
Sometimes images hold a special significance to us. It can be the first image we ever made, it can be an image drawing attention to a cause close to our hearts, it can simply be an image of someone we love. Do you have an image or images that hold a special significance to you?
"I think this image is quite important to me..."
"It is in no way my best image but it was the first time I had arranged a model, planned a shoot and gone to such a place on my own. I was petrified and could barely sleep the night before but when I got back and saw that one I knew it was what I wanted to do from now on."
Photography sometimes leaves you open to scary or funny situations. What's the scariest or funniest situation you've found yourself in because of photography?
"Had a few scary situations. Drunken security guards, farmer threatening to run me over in his tractor are a couple but the most scary was probably being in the top of a very high derelict factory in a huge storm earlier this year. That is one I'm surprised we made it out of alive, Kansas was beckoning......."
We've talked about your start in photography, we talked about your current work, let's quickly chat about the future. What have you got coming up this year, more of the same? any special projects? And in regards to a more long term plan, where are you hoping your creative journey will take you in the years to come?
"I have a fair few shoots booked in over the coming months doing similar. I want to start and travel further afield though. I've been to the places around me in the South East a lot now and need fresh locations. I hope to do some stuff on the continent this year if I can find a willing victim!
Long term I'm not sure. It is just a hobby for me and I don't want it to become anything else. I have a good job as it is that allows me to pursue photography and not having to pay the mortgage through photography leaves you totally free to play with it."
Now for the shameless self promotion part of the interview...where can people find you and your work?
"I'm on Purpleport and Flickr"
Again, I'd like to thank Michael for taking the time to answer a few questions for me, be sure to check out all of the links for more of his work.
Models in the above images can be found at (in order of appearance) ChinaStar, Marla Pandora, Marmalade, Lottie, Keira Lavelle.