I was born in Grenada, West Indies and moved to Britain at the age of 6 to London. At the age of 10 I bought a toy camera that took blurred pictures, some of which my mother still has in the family album.
I became seriously interested in photography at the age of 21. My first pictures were of London tourist spots and the next year I started practicing my present style. I am self-taught and have never been an assistant.
I have worked mainly in the editorial field for over 30 years. I have photographed for numerous magazines such as Vogue, GQ, Elle, Sunday Times. I have had many profiles of my work in countries such as France, Spain, Italy, USA, Australia, Germany and, of course, Great Britain. I won the Vogue /Sotheby’s Cecil Beaton Award in 1987 for my series of shoe pictures entitled ‘The Fetish’ (self-portraits) and in 1997 and ‘98 I was nominated as Erotic Photographer of the Year here in Britain and eventually won the award in 2002 for my first book, Bernadinism, How to Dominate Men and Subjugate Women.
Is there any artist/photographer who inspired your art?
One of my first influences was Rene Magritte. I was taking neo pictorial pictures of London at the time and when I saw his work I thought that would be the way to go.
Why do you work in black and white rather than colour?
I have always worked in both and up until recent years nearly all my erotic work was in B+W. This series, Succubus, began in the early 90s. I did these by double exposure in the camera. Much later I began using Photoshop.
How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph/series of photographs?
Any series I do usually begins with one picture. If I like the image and think there can be more permutations of the theme then I start planning others. Sometimes I sketch out ideas but mostly I just write them down these days and take the list on the shoot. I always have to approach a shoot with several ideas. Mostly I don’t get through them all but I know where to start and if some other idea reveals its self I am willing to adapt.
– Where is your photography going? What projects would you like to accomplish?
My photography goes wherever the next interesting idea takes me. I am hoping to exhibit a bit more this year.