Photography has always been a huge part of my life. I grew up on a remote farm in West Sussex so I was constantly surrounded by beautiful scenery and landscapes, inspiring me to capture my surroundings from a very young age. Both of my parents are incredibly creative, my father Justin was a fashion photographer in the sixties and discovered British supermodel 'Twiggy' and my mother, Janet was a model. As you can probably imagine, my sister Daisy and I grew up in a house filled with photography books, film collections and exquisite artwork, nurturing my passion for photography.
It wasn't until I went to college and began my first photography project that I truly realised my potential. It occurred to me that one photo can represent a thousand words and photography allowed me to express my thoughts and feelings in a way that I had never been able to before, I felt liberated and inspired. I have family in America and I chose to carry out my project at a place that was very close to my heart, the Appalachian Mountains. One of my photos ended up on the cover of Art Review and it truly was a proud moment for me.
As my career took off, I went on to travel the world, directing new digital media projects and regularly photographing editorial shoots for titles such as The New York Times, The Telegraph, and Vogue Magazine. But it wasn't all glitz and glamour, one of my most memorable experiences was visiting the Louisiana State Penitentiary in America. I am so inspired by people, their day-to-day lives, what they reveal and what they hide. I like to discover what is completely unknown to me. This is why I visited America's most infamous and largest maximum-security prison holding over 5,000 inmates. Eighty five percent have killed, raped or robbed with violence and eight out of ten have life without parole. It wasn't until I spent time with these men and spoke to them about their lives that I started to see them without distortion and started to see something else; a complicated moral issue about the sum of a man.
Something else that I find truly inspiring is the unnoticed. We are so caught up in our lives that we often forget the beauty that is right in front of us. Particularly in cities, in those low-light hours when the hustle and bustle is beginning to calm. This is why I decided to get involved in HTC My Life: Dusk Until Dawn. The project invites people to use their smartphone cameras to reveal the lost hours between sunset and sunrise, by sharing themed photos of their personal 'dusk until dawn' experiences on Twitter @HTC_UK, using the hastag #DuskUntilDawn. Just like my very first photography project, my best work was inspired by my personal photography, so I still make sure to keep this at the forefront of my mind and this was one of the main reasons I was so keen to get involved in this project. I will be shortlisting the entrees and at the end of the seven week campaign, a public Twitter poll will decide on one stand-out photograph. The budding photographer will then be taken on an exciting Scandinavian adventure to capture the magic of the Northern Lights - the ultimate low-light photography destination. We have already received some spectacular submissions. Every entry is unique and that's the most exciting part, I want to see the individual's perceptions of the world, through their own eyes.
The entrants are taking photos on their smartphones, which is perhaps the most important part of the project. Smartphones are changing photography, so I was keen to get involved in the project to immerse myself deeper in the world of smartphone photography and filming. The technology has really developed over the last few years, and mobile phones are now a definite rival of an SLR. Something that I dislike about SLRs is how intrusive they are when capturing images, especially of people; a smartphone is far more subtle and friendly. During the project I am sharing my personal photography of my life from dusk until dawn with my HTC One S, in order to inspire budding photographers. The HTC One S is a great example of how smartphone photography is evolving. The advanced camera capabilities such as its burst mode feature mean that you will never miss a moment, the panoramic setting is perfect for scenery shots and I would even go as far as saying it is better than my SLR at capturing life in low-light conditions.
So all you need to take part is a phone and your imagination. Enter your images by Sunday 5th August for your chance to win. Remember that each person will find inspiration in a different place, so don't worry about the 'rules' of what a photograph should be just go with your instincts and capture the world around you.