"I Am..." A Baker

Sunrise, 7am and 4th generation artisan baker Steven Oxford has already been working through the night to prepare Oxford's traditional English breads.

Established in 1911 by Frank Oxford, the Sherborne based bakery recently celebrated its 100th year anniversary. Despite the introduction of modern plant bakeries over the years, Oxford Bakery still prides itself in producing 'real bread', handmade using locally sourced ingredients.

I wanted to ask Steven to star in the "I Am..." Series as I grew up in the local area, eating their freshly baked goods and because I feel they have a great story worth sharing. Little did I know how passionate Steven was, and before long he had taken the time out to show us the in's and out's of baking. Truly gripped by his enthusiasm for the subject, it really hammered home why I want to do this project.

Testimony to their skill and dedication for the industry, Oxfords haven't changed their methods or recipes for over four generations and is what I believe is key to their success.

Ingredients are still combined using the original 1911 dough mixer, before being moulded by skilled hands using techniques that have been passed down between generations. Finally, it is left to "prove" before being cooked in the original Edwardian oven.

With Steven now at the helm of Oxfords Bakery, he's keen to teach and spread the word about 'real bread', running workshops from their bakery near Sherborne. Head on over to their website to find out more.

The original image in this post is my favourite of the shoot and will be featured on the "I Am..." Series website shortly. Shot on a 17-40 F4 L Wide Angle Lens with a Canon 580EXII Speedlite and 1/4 CTO Gel Camera Left in a 38" Softbox. The "rising sun" was courtesy of a Canon 430EX Speedlite with Full CTO Gel outside the window, triggered via PocketWizard Flex's.

A huge thanks to Steven for letting us in their charismatic bakery, a great insight into the history of baking!

"I Am..." A Studio Manager

Meet Martin, Studio Manager of the Cream Room Recording Studio in Dane End, Hertfordshire. Over the years, the Cream Room Recording Studio has seen it all from solo artists to bands, voice over artists to tribute acts, song writers to film companies and much much more. Martin and his business partner Rob also manage their own independent record label and have some exciting acts starting to breakthrough.

When I was commissioned to shoot some commercial pictures of the recording studio for their newly designed website, I thought it would be a fantastic opportunity for the "I Am..." series to capture Martin in his environment:

Shot using two gridded lights with warming gels, it was great to be part of a working recording studio and seeing where it all happens. Just the amount of buttons on what they refer to as a 'small' mixing desk makes the mind boggle. Naturally, I promised not to touch anything... :)

The Cream Room are actively involved in a project called 'Just Enough For The Real World', a foundation raising awareness on the issues of people trafficking. I've had the pleasure of seeing 'Just Enough For The Real World' perform live in Theatre and would thoroughly recommend you check out the fantastic work this group is doing.

Martin and Rob are likely to be two of the nicest guys you'll ever meet, and despite being commissioned to shoot for two hours, I actually spent most of the day down there. Keep an eye out for the Cream Room's new look website which is due to be launched soon and will feature a whole host of shots from the day.

I have real high hopes for this series, it's early days and already shoots like this reinforce why I wanted to do it, meeting the fantastic people behind the jobs and the intruiging stories they have to tell. It's received an overwhelming response in it's first few days and I have some exciting shoots lined up that I can't wait to share with you all!

The "I Am..." series website will be launched shortly so keep in touch via Twitter or Facebook for updates!

The "I Am..." Series

The first post of 2012 and the start of something new. Looking back over the past nine months, it's been an eventful time. Photography is like no other career, more of a journey and one which i'm thankful to be a part of. In my relatively-short time as a professional photographer (when compared to others) no day is ever the same, made unique by the people you meet along the way and the stories they have to tell.

Last year, after we finished a corporate shoot in Buxton, I had time to shoot an environmental portrait of a foundry worker. Thrilled by the experience of getting to know the person behind the job, it's inspired me to start a large scale personal project for 2012.

By creating themed and theatrical portraits in their working environments, the aim is to showcase different career paths and the individuals behind them. These will then be catalogued with background information regarding the career on a new website called:

Capturing a career in it's natural surroundings will allow me to convey the characters personality in a single photograph. I'm looking to photograph different careers, from the popular everyday jobs right through to the unique and courageous that keep the world turning.

There is no doubt that this will be an ongoing project, as I could run into several hiccups along the way, i.e. getting permission or the rights to photograph in certain areas can be troublesome.

Each individual that I photograph will receive a fine art print in return for the opportunity they have given me. The photoshoot will then be featured on a behind the scenes blog showing the buildup, with the final image being displayed on the "I Am..." website.

It's going to be a real labour of love, taking large amounts of time to organise these photoshoots, but the outcome will be special.

If you are interested in helping out with this project, or have a career path you want to share, please feel free to get in touch.

I've already shot a few individuals for the project, and have some fantastic opportunities lined up for the coming months. Below are a few shots which kick started the whole idea:

The first instalment of the "I Am..." series will be revealed shortly! Like my Facebook pagefollow me on twitter or keep checking back here for further updates.