Born in 1946, I left home for London aged just 17, to study photography by working as a photographer’s assistant. Commencing as a messenger boy in an artwork photo copy studio, I soon found a better position as a messenger in a Fashion, Food and Advertising Studio. This studio employed top photographers, including Barry Lategan who took the first photos of Twiggy, and Ian Williams who was a master technician when using large format cameras to shoot food ads. Eric Mandel, a former photography teacher at London Polytechnic, was the senior advertising photographer and taught me, now an assistant, all about the finer points of black and white printing and the importance of overall technical quality required in professional work.
In December 1966, I was assisting top London fashion photographer John Cowan in Milan on a shoot for Italian Vogue and decided to stay in order to kick start my career as a photographer. I began by shooting model composites while learning the language. In 1967 I shot my first fashion magazine cover aged just 21.
Visit my extended portfolio, recipes and blog at John Hooton Photography
I married my wife Denise in 1975 and in order to pay the bills, gave up full time photography for a while. I took a course in electronics and established myself as an electronics repair technician, continuing photography as a hobby with the occasional wedding gig at weekends. In 1987 Denise and I moved back to London with our two children, Adam and Emma.
I became the in-house equipment repair/maintenance manager and technical trouble-shooter for South Bank Studios. The studios specialised in hiring space and equipment, including electronic flash, to car photographers and pop video production companies.
Now retired, I have returned to photography, an art form that has always been my vocation. If I can help you in any way on this site, don’t be afraid to ask. I’ll be delighted to get back to you.
In 2008 I founded Urban Wildlife. It is a group specialising in wildlife photographs taken in towns and cities. Check it out – you might be surprised at what is living in your back yard!