Since 1998 I’ve worked as an editorial portrait photographer and photojournalist. In 2009 I designed and delivered the first open undergraduate photography class for a new photography course at Coventry University. The photography and narrative (Phonar) class went from nine people in a room to over 35,000 in thirty weeks and from unlisted, to the UK’s number one in the Guardian’s 2015 rankings. I was described by WIRED as “shaking up photo-education”, as “breaking new ground for photographers” and by Julia Reda MEP as “being at the forefront of cultural economy”.
In 2011 I was selected by MIT Media Lab’s Director Joi Ito to feature in Creative Commons Power of Open book for my work leveraging social media and alternative copyright strategies. In the same year, myself and colleague Peter Woodbridge were awarded the SU’s Student Experience award for our class-in-an-app, the first undergraduate class to be launched as an app, subsequently described by Professor David Campbell of the Durham Centre for Advanced Photography Studies as “an innovation in Photo education”.
In 2013 I authored Phonar-Ed (Phonar for Educators) which enabled 23 international teachers to co-edit the Phonar class, this was then syndicated through World Photo Org to over 252 Universities worldwide and over 200,000 individual photographers. The project was awarded MIT and UC Irvine’s Open Learning Prize in 2014.
Over 2013 and 2014 I founded, designed and delivered Phonar Nation, the World’s Largest Youth Photography Class. With funding from the HEA, JISC, University of California Irvine and in collaboration with the Cities of Learning Project, I designed and delivered an adapted version of my visual literacy and digital fluency class for an at-risk 12-17 year old demographic. The course was uniquely designed to be taught by a non-photographer and non-academic, from a mobile device to a mobile and distributed participant, using mobile devices.
During the same period I also acted as advisor to the World Press Photo Foundation Academy, most notably in their Reporting Change project wherein we transformed their annual academy competition from 8 educational places, into an Open and Connected, asynchronous and global learning network.
I am currently completing a PhD at Open Lab, Newcastle University and am Director of Research at Rhizome Live where we provide teaching and training solutions that work with the web, rather than against it.