Welcome to David Oakes Photography!
I was born in 1980 in West Yorkshire and I'm based in Leeds. Whilst drawing, and art, in general, have always been subjects people said I was very good at, I discovered my passion for photography quite by accident. On a trip to Edinburgh with my then girlfriend, she remarked that the snapshots I took had 'an artistic quality'. So I started to learn more about photography and cameras, light and composition.
However, whilst my images have been praised by fellow professional photographers and amateurs alike, have delighted clients, and some even won awards, I have never been one to follow certain so-called 'rules' of composition, etc.
I am self-taught and I use my creative gut instinct. If a client requires me to shoot in a certain way, I will do so, of course; however, most of my best shots have been those where I didn't think too much about rules.
Whether it's architecture, events, commercial spaces, pet portraits or wildlife, clients and visitors to my site have often said that my pictures transported them into the heart of the scene, conveying a sense of almost being able to touch the objects. My close-ups have been described as capturing 'unexpected facets of otherwise ordinary subjects', whilst my landscapes and architectural shots have been commended for their 'astonishing 3D quality'.
I'm a great believer in natural light. As you see it - that's how I like to capture it. Indeed, some areas of photography always benefit from a touch of artificial light, but this is something I try to avoid. Natural light gives an image authenticity, and keeps it close to life and to the reason you liked looking at the subject in the first place. But it is all about balance. A balance between keeping something or someone looking as natural as possible, whilst still making them look like one in a million.
Countless hours of my youth were spent outdoors with my late Granddad Ken, an avid woodsman, watching the migrations of birds, the fading light over a scenic landscape, and the life cycle of nature. An accomplished plastic artist and keen photographer, Kenneth Coleman nurtured the talent for art he saw in me from an early age.
It wasn't until later, in my late 20s, when others started to remark on my drawing and photography, that I started to understand what Granddad saw. By the time I was able to show him the fruit of what he planted, it was too late. "Ol' man Coleman" passed away suddenly, in October 2010, before this website was ever set up, before my first photography business cards landed on my doormat, and before my very first professional collaboration, with a major tourist attraction and conservation trust.
My work now is an ongoing honouring of my Grandfather's faith in me, and a testament to the skills he helped polish during our time together.