This will be my 15th year taking photographs in London for some of the most prestigious private and public healthcare organisations. I began my freelance career in 2000 and I have since amassed a great deal of experience working within many varied healthcare environments from A&E, operating theatres, ITU, paediatrics, Oncology, x-ray, cath lab to primary care, dental practice, care homes for the elderly and services for those with learning difficulties. I have met wonderful staff and patients who agree to be photographed in sometimes difficult circumstances.
I have enjoyed this type of work a great deal as it has offered me a chance to work within exciting but challenging situations with often strict time constraints and space to work. Photographing operations provides some of the most interesting and challenging healthcare photography to create, I feel privileged to be allowed into this environment and to witness critical life saving work in progress.
My first experience of photographing an operation was during a hip replacement procedure at a private hospital. I was apprehensive at first and daunted especially when the time came to put on scrubs and enter the theatre, having a vivid imagination does not help. My fears though were quickly dispelled by the understanding staff who were in good humour and put me at ease straight away eventually encouraging me to get closer to the action and better images. They recounted tales of other first timers to operations who fainted during their visit, requiring medical assistance themselves. Despite feeling a little light headed I was determined not to become faint. Its tempting in these situations to stand in a corner and remain there, out of the way of the busy staff, fearful of distracting anyone or stepping into a sterile area. Some of the best images I have taken were at close proximity to the staff and operating area. Of course sometimes this is not appropriate and remaining out of the way in a corner is the best place to be. I am still learning about working in these environments and discovering new ways to approach the subject matter with unique viewpoints, use of lighting and exposure.