I studied fine art at University and in my very last year I did a project with some traveller girls on a site – they were so into fashion and I started to photograph them. It was the first time I ever took photographs on a proper SLR camera. As soon as I started photographing them I fell in love with photography. It opens doors to meeting people that you would never otherwise have the chance to meet. It's not just about taking people's pictures – that is just a part of the process. The most amazing thing in being a photographer is that people let down their guards, tell you their story and allow you into their worlds- what an amazing honour.
Female photographers – like Mary Ellen Mark and Diane Arbus. Her autobiography was a big influence on me. Diane just wandered around New York and photographed people on the margins of society when no one else really was.
I'm shooting a new series about kids moshing at punk and metal gigs and it's so much fun. The energy of the kids and the atmosphere in the clubs is so intense it brings you back to that time when the world was your oyster.
I teach teenagers sometimes at The National Portrait Gallery – I always have to be up to date with new work going on to show and inspire them – this educates and inspires me too.
I use a bit of Photoshop, but mainly all I do is add a touch of yellow to the whites in photographs to give them a slightly more filmic quality.
I do use assistants on big jobs but when shooting personal work I am generally alone.
Too hard to pinpoint! I really like the photograph I shot recently of the two South African brothers with their surfboard. They have such amazing faces.
I tend to work too fast – I tell myself to slow down and keep exploring my subject so I don't just take the obvious photographs. I tell myself this every time i shoot to try and make my photographs more interesting.