Not one to take the easy path, my journey to this industry was a long and winding road but when I found this career it changed my life forever.  I’m enthralled by the beautiful struggle of creative expression.  Never standing still, always searching for ways to grow and challenge myself.  Searching for beauty and expression in the light and dark.

I’m a firm believer that a DP’s greatest work is done in pre-visualisation.  I like to work closely with my collaborators and put detailed work into pre-production so that we can work through most of the challenges before the cameras start rolling.  I find this thorough preparation allows me the freedom to make instinctive choices and see creative opportunities when they present themselves.  It also means I have a good relationship with producers, only ordering the gear we really need and saving money where I can from the budget.

I pride myself in my technical proficiency but I don’t get bogged down by gear.  Some of the most powerful images have been created with a cheap camera and available light.  I believe technology gives us choices but it also has the ability to restrict us.  Knowing not only what tools are available but also knowing exactly how far those tools can be pushed, gives me a huge palette to work from.  This knowledge affords me great confidence and in recent years I have become known for my ability to light big “oners” (continuous moving camera shots that span large areas of a set or location).  I also have extensive experience of working with motion control and lighting for seamless shots, both on location and on set.  I like to operate the camera and I keep myself in top physical condition so that I’m always ready to go handheld.  Studying physical movement has been behind the success of my handheld work and I’ve taken a lot of inspiration from the work of Sean Bobbitt, BSC in this regard.

I find inspiration all around me that seeps into my work.  Always paying attention to the world at my feet and letting my experiences influence my work.  From my passions for travelling and experiencing other cultures, to time spent people watching when I wait for a train or trawling through Pinterest for visual references, it all soaks in and adds to the mix.

I’m as comfortable with broad brush strokes as I am with fine detail.  Forever searching for the most elegant, powerful and efficient way to tell the story through the lens. My style has been described as passionate and emotive but that’s high praise indeed.  The fact is I’m on a long journey, growing and learning from every project I work on, seeking to develop as an artist and a person from my interactions with the people around me.

This industry we work in is a crazy game and I feel incredibly fortunate to be a part of it.  You’ll always find me smiling because I know how lucky I am to have found this path and have had the pleasure of working with some incredible people.  If you see me on set, come and say hello, I’d love to meet you.

James, 2016.