Frequently Asked Questions
How did you get into photography?
It all started with Flickr in 2006. The community inspired and challenged me to take photos every day... and this was pre-smartphones when we had to physically plug in to upload! I bought my first DSLR during my last year at university because I wanted to take nice portraits of my friends at graduation. I was studying Maths and Economics, then started a career in finance, but my heart was never in it. I finally summoned the courage to quit and start over as a freelance photographer in 2013.
You shoot weddings too, right?
In 2009 a friend got married and asked me to be the photographer. So nervous I couldn't sleep the night before, but it turned out well in the end. A colleague saw the gallery and said "these are great, do my wedding!" and that just kept snowballing until I accepted I had a bit of talent. I've had the honour of photographing around 100 weddings, and absolutely love my job. See my wedding portfolio here.
Do you really have a hedgehog?
Yes. I'm probably remembered as "the one with the pygmy hedgehog" more than anything else. Her name is Bramble. She was born in June 2013, and is a little weirdo who loves armpits and leather gloves. I wrote a blog post here to talk about some pros and cons if you're thinking about it. Be a responsible pet owner, please!
What's that American twang to your accent?
Puzzlingly, I'm asked this quite a bit, and I honestly don't know. Born in China, my family emigrated to the UK when I was 6. I grew up in Birmingham (no Peaky Blinders accent here) where my only American influence was a wonderful exchange teacher – Miss Meisterheim from Chicago – for one year in primary school.
What's your favourite restaurant in London?
Oh my gosh, there's so many! From Artusi in Peckham for the ultimate comfort Italian food, to Yami in New Malden for the best Korean fried chicken in town... London truly is a foodie's dream. I made this map of my favourite places:
I'm a newbie. What camera should I buy?
My first proper camera was the now-extinct Canon 450D, and I kept the 50mm f/1.8 lens on it 99% of the time. If you're serious about learning photography techniques, invest in a DSLR that's in the £300-350 region and force yourself to shoot in 'manual' mode. Take good care of your gear, then you can sell it on when you're ready to upgrade. I'm completely self-taught using the Internet. If I can do it, so can you. If you're interested in what gear I currently use, check out the Shop.
Can you teach me?
I do occasionally hold workshops on both DSLR and smartphone photography. The next one will be part of the Creating For Good conference on 21st April 2018 in London. I'm teaching "how to get past auto" on your DSLR, and the day will be packed with lots of other creative workshops and discussions. 100% of ticket proceeds will be donated to social enterprise Bread & Roses.
How do you edit your photos?
Can I send you a product or experience to review?
I no longer accept free products in exchange for reviews. I will take on experiences – trips, restaurant invitations, etc. – only if I think they are a good fit for this blog and style. Get in touch if you think we can collaborate.