Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
I’m a photographer, writer and creative facilitator. My background is in fine art, where I studied in London and New York. I then put my creative energies into working in television for 10 years. I’ve recently combined my love of making and photography, in my book ‘Photocrafty: 75 Creative Camera Projects for you and your DSLR.’
Tell us a bit about the book?
There’s a whole range of projects in the book, from basic stuff about composition and colour, to more experimental projects like how to shoot sound vibrations with food dye and cream, or turning your DSLR into a digital pinhole camera. The ethos of the book is about exploring the potential of the camera you have, rather than splashing the cash on yet another gadget.
What was the inspiration behind it?
I started to write the book because a lot of my friends had these amazing DSLR cameras but didn’t have a clue how to use them. They kept them parked in auto, which is a bit like a owning a Porshe and only driving to the corner shop. The book ‘Photocrafty,’ is all about getting people out of ‘auto’ by experimenting and having fun with their camera, whilst also taking some fantastic images.
Which is your favourite project?
My favourite projects are the ones where I create camera accessories using a craft knife and the contents of my recycling box. I’ve recently been experimenting again with Light Stencils. They form solid blocks of light against the night sky. These are made from old cardboard boxes, tin foil and plastic bags (if you are intrigued, you can find out how to do it from the book!), the results are amazing.
What is your craft space like?
I have grand designs on transforming my garden shed into an amazing workspace but I don’t have a studio at the moment. Therefore I can often be found cutting up bits of cardboard on a breadboard at the dinning room table or creating a makeshift studio, in the living room.
Have you always been creative?
Yes, my idea of heaven as a child was to sit in my bedroom drawing, painting and making stuff. So no change there!
When did you first start crafting?
My Mum didn’t like us watching TV, so she distracted us with crafts. By the time I was 16, I think I’d tried pretty much every craft going. Literally everything including drawing, quilling, marquetry, candle making, pyrography, soap making, wood carving, glass etching, patch work and pottery. Every Christmas and birthday I was given a new craft set.
I remember a Dutch uncle teaching me how to make kites, using a sheet of newspaper, a ball of string, slivers of garden cane and the starch from a boiled potato to stick it all together! Amazingly the kites were fantastic and flew for hours.
Who are your crafty heroes?
Following on from the last question, I’m going to say my mum! She would always have a go at making everything from clothes, to hard cheeses, to pressed papier-mâché logs to burn on the fire. I even remember her once baking dog biscuits to feed the dog and I’ve never heard of anyone else doing it since, so I think that’s the epitome of craftyness!
Where do you find inspiration?
I surf the web for ideas and sometimes get inspired from new photographers that I work with. However I think the best ideas happen when I start doing something. So I tend not to wait for an idea before I begin, but instead start making and trust that something will flow from it.
What's next for you?
I’m busy working on a second Photocrafty photography book, which will focus on how to take fun and creative portraits. I blog regularly on photocrafty.net which has loads of cool projects and I’m teaching photography workshops. I’m also planning an exhibition with a fantastic photographer and friend, Liv Pennington.
Photocrafty is a fun and quirky guide to making the most of your Digital SLR. Turn off the 'auto' button and dip into this easy-to-use book to create stunning photographs of your own, using just a little bit of crafty know-how. This refreshingly non-technical, low-fi approach will appeal to photographers of all abilities, allowing you to produce fantastic shots and improve your SLR confi dence along the way. Discover 75 projects to try at home, or out and about, with minimal faff and very few pieces of equipment, just by following simple step-by-step instructions. From mastering the basic camera techniques like shutter zoom and light trails, to more crafty projects such as DIY aerial, fi sh-eye and pin-hole shots, this book has a range of ideas for beginners and more experienced photographers wanting to try something new. Stop using your Digital SLR at arms length - get stuck in and hands on, with Photocrafty.