Why do you work in black and white rather than colour?
"Black and white images suggest, rather than show. I feel they engage the viewer more closely. I look at the expressions and the interactions rather than the colour of clothing or whether it was a 'nice day' or not. For family photography, I believe it's the perfect medium: the photographs I take today will sit alongside images taken in 10 years' time and pictures taken 50 years ago, creating a coherent family narrative with images that are full of feeling and emotion."
How is photographing a portrait in black and white technically different to colour?
"There's nowhere to hide technically – you need to get the picture right and work with the light. Graphics and geometry become more important – we don't just think 'cute child, sunny day' – we need more from our image if it's to stand the test of time."
Practically speaking, what do you need to be more mindful of with black and white?
"On a positive note, the bright colours of children's toys become less of a distraction and the other elements in a park can dissolve into the background, so a red litter bin is not so much of an issue. But attention needs to be paid to clothing. I find graphic patterns such as checked shirts, dominant stripes and zigzags to be more distracting in black and white."
How do you get the best out of children during a portrait session?
"Playing games with them is the best way to get good expressions; I spend a lot of my time sitting on the floor so we can play together properly (waterproof trousers are a must in the autumn and winter season)."
What is the toughest part of your job?
"Running a business. I love the photography side, but with it comes other responsibilities, such as admin, accounts and marketing. It's these other areas that I find harder, but the varied challenges certainly keep life interesting."