How I got started as a Headshot & Event Photographer

How I got started as a Headshot & Event Photographer

Whenever I meet new people, I’m always curious about how they got to where they are today, what they enjoy, what makes them tick creatively. It’s something I get asked a lot, and I’ve definitely had a varied journey that led me to becoming a headshot and event photographer. So, I thought I would share my story, and a bit about my background in photography.

Where it all began…

I was born in Hammersmith, then went on to study at Bournemouth Art Institute. I spent hours perfecting techniques for black and white printing, and developed a passion for black and white photography. 

My trusty Rolleiflex camera was my companion across South America and India, documenting my travels and creating some wonderful memories. Stupidly, I sold my Rolleiflex in my 20s and always regretted it… thankfully my wife bought me another one for my birthday, and it now has pride of place on my desk.

How I got into event photography

I spent a lot of time photographing weddings, finding I was able to work in any environment and get great results. Weddings are intense and high-pressure, and I enjoyed the fast-paced spontaneity of documenting such an important event. I was lucky enough to work with some amazing clients, receiving referrals for dozens more commissions. 

The brilliant thing about event photography in London is that it’s really diverse, there’s always something happening somewhere in the city. I transferred my skills at capturing weddings to other private events, and found I loved the buzz and atmosphere of award event photography. 

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Why I do headshot photography as well as events

I know it sounds like a cliché, but I just really love working with people. By doing both events and headshot photography I meet new people and see new places all the time. Headshot photography is a challenge that I find strangely enjoyable, I take a portable studio with me and get some brilliant results that clients are really pleased with.

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What would I do if I wasn’t a photographer?

I live very close to Tooting Common, which is a massive park in south west London. If I wasn’t a photographer, I think I would love to spend my mornings there walking dogs! So, being a dog walker would be my backup career – but I probably couldn’t resist taking photographs of them too. 

With a busy work schedule and my awesome kids keeping me active, I rarely get time to take photos for fun – but when I do, I’m reminded that photography will always be a part of my life in some way.

The piece of kit I wouldn’t leave home without

I’m quite attached to my Sony 55m prime lens. It’s small and lightweight, and I love capturing natural, relaxed shots with it.

The weirdest job I’ve ever done

Oh, I’ve certainly had a few random jobs along the way. Weird, wonderful, surprising, and a lot of them were really pretty cool. I think photographing Christmas decorations in the height of a summer heat wave was one of the most random though!

Final thoughts and hopefully some useful advice for any aspiring photographers…

Getting started as a headshot and event photographer involves a lot of hard work, but it’s also lots of fun. A really important thing for me throughout my career has been networking, and becoming friends with other photographers. Not only had this given me the chance to develop professionally and learn from other people, they’ve also given me the support and encouragement to succeed in my business. 

If you are trying to get established as a headshot and event photographer, keep learning as much as you can from as many people as you can along the way. Yes, it’s competitive. Yes, you’ll be on your feet for hours, but I wouldn’t change it. I love my job and the variety people I get to meet every day, especially those who inspire me and always push me to keep developing creatively.

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