Alan Barber: Bio

Somewhere between Tim Page and David Bailey there was a role model. Tim got to travel the world and David Bailey was mates with Mick Jagger.
I was 14. Surely if I got a battered Nikon F2 like Tim’s the rest would fall into place?

Well I got a Praktika so it didn’t.But it was an SLR and it was rugged and manual and pumped out some gritty black and whites, of people, landscapes and bleak winter days in an English new town a long, long way from the sea.

I did eventually acquire a Nikon and pointed it at the village fetes and fairs and the local jazz festival. I’d run home, process the film in a blacked out bedroom, and dutifully put the prints into a stiff envelope and send them into the local paper. Holding my breath as I skimmed though the paper on publication date and .... nothing. I’d have loved some feedback. Not even a 'your pictures are crap and this is why’. It had started - the battle to prove yourself.

It’s amazing how you can photograph your little brother but you aren’t a photographer, but photograph a malnourished African kid, and that’s different; you have soul, talent, and saleable prints.

My first real picture scoop was numbed by the fact that it was a story about a father and his son who were killed in a helicopter crash. The chopper went down in a remote (by English standards) woodland and our staff photographer and chief reporter had given up looking for it.

I got the pictures, having ventured onto army land and talked my way passed handlers and German Shepherds. Not only that, the TV companies and others showed an interest. Front page pictures and story.

I followed that up the same week by interviewing a burglary victim as they sifted through their trashed property, again capturing the full horror with pictures and words.
Not much encouragement from the senior snapper.  ‘Your pictures are crap, look at the work of my staff - no you can’t have a job even though your pic is on the front of the paper' - I listened and upped my game.

Then the Bucks Free Press needed an editorial assistant - a real job - where is High Wycombe? – I’ve arrived and before long my words and pictures make it to most of the national newspapers. From then on I moved up in the world and the Guardian and Sun picture desks were kindly offering their advice - I was still listening and upping the game.

A decade and hundreds of assignments later and I’m in Australia, the land of photo opportunity. I still shoot for local papers but also work in Geelong and Melbourne for corporate clients.

I've now done most kinds of editorial and commercial work available in these parts and I’m still listening and learning. My pictures have made the Age, Herald Sun, the Australian and scores of regional titles and I've worked with a wide range of local, multinational, not-for-profit, sports and government organisations.

I still recognise the brilliance of other people (such as Mark Tucker, Trente Parke, James Russell and Chase Jarvis). I'm still working on upping my game. Isn't life about continually improving what we do?

I am available for commercial, editorial and wedding photography and seeking a 'Rep' in New York or Paris to represent my lifestyle and sports work to the ad commissioning audience

What bonds my photography is my passion for photographing people, lifestyle photography, sharing and capturing the intimacy of a couple's vows, delivering fresh and inspiring images to rightly demanding advertising and fashion creatives. Photography that hits the spot.

I still haven't owned a Nikon F2

Call me on 0400 721185 or send an e-mail to



Ocean Grove, Geelong and Melbourne