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Hi, my name is Michael and I am a photographer.

That sounds like the opening line from a addiction group and is probably quite appropriate. I am addicted to photography. Not a day goes by when I don't think about photography and when I haven't got a camera on my person, I feel a little bit lost.

I sort of came into photography in my early thirties. As a child I loved drawing but whilst I was visually talented I could never get the drawings down on paper, as I wanted. My first introduction to photography was when I was 18, when I worked in a camera shop for a few months but that didn't work very well and I didn't pick up a camera again for another 7 years.

When I did finally pick up a camera, it wasn't to do photography but video. I had a crazy idea that I could become a film maker and then went and did a degree in video production, graduating in 2001. Of course back then digital cameras were in their infancy and video cameras were rather expensive. So to keep my eye in, whilst I looked for a job, I bought my first SLR. Breaking into TV took a little longer than I had hoped but during this time, I continued to work on my photographic skills and after I finally did get in as a cameraman, I found I loved photography much more.

In 2009 I decided to become a professional photographer, moving away from video production a year later. I was completely unprepared and spent the new few years learning the hard way that photography isn't an easy industry to work in, taking a lot of time and perseverance.

I would say I am a predominately a people photographer. I enjoy interacting with people, getting them to pose. The best thing is to see peoples reaction to the photos and to see how pleased they are with the images.

I am able to shoot in natural or artificial lighting and have shot in a variety of locations. Most of my professional work is corporate, shooting head shots, events and promotional work but I also shoot shooting performer. I am also start moving back into shooting shooting landscapes.

When it comes to inspiration, I would say my biggest influence is Joe McNally but I love modern photographer like Kirsty Mitchell and Benjamin Von Wong and I am trying to move my photography into a more artistic direction at the moment.

Outside of photography I try to keep fit, I have a dog who takes quite a bit of looking after. I try to swim regularly and have completed the Great British swim on several occasions. I am also a regular at Spinning @ a circus skills group based in London.

Michael Laing