After school I started a degree in Applied Art and Art History at Goldsmiths in London, but soon realised it wasn't for me, so I left to do Fine and Applied Art at Belfast College of Art, which I loved. After my degree I started to shoot landscapes in Iceland for a wall-art company. I loved the place, but the job wasn't really working out for me – it felt too commercial – so I came back to Belfast to photograph circus performers at the Belfast Community Circus School, and all over the world.
That wasn't dissimilar to the film world, working with nomadic, creative people, and what I learned there meant my eventual transition to film wasn't too difficult. It's all about understanding the acts and not getting in the way either of the performers or the audience. I got to see the hard work involved, and how emotionally draining it can be for performers, and actors likewise, which helps you learn how to pick your shooting moments.
Then a friend asked me to do some shots for a short film, and thought they were great. From there a film producer saw one of my circus shots and asked me to do a shoot for them, and that's when I realised that working on film was what I wanted to do. It's the strangest feeling – although it's very hard work, it doesn't feel like a job, it's just what I do.
In 2008, after working on projects from war to sci-fi to horror to fantasy, I was asked to submit my portfolio for a new series, Game of Thrones, and they saw something in my images that matched their vision for the show, so I was there from day one. There was no Game of Thrones 'style' when I started; we've all developed the style and the look between ourselves.