Bernard Bleach Photography, the story so far...from Film to Digital.

OK, so this is the bit where I waffle on about myself and my past, which I am told, by the experts, that I shouldn't do and I should be telling you how my services will add value to your product, but, hey, what the heck. So here goes. But maybe I am.

It's been a longish road but fun, interesting and rewarding. I used to be very inspired and motivated by the arts, maybe in a basic way, but back in those days I had no idea that as a 12/13 year old that years later I would earn my living as a photographer.

The Very Long & Winding Road

When I was younger I was interested in drawing, painting, modelling, I even used to go to evening classes at my secondary school for model making and built a Hydrofoil out of Balsa Wood but never actually put a motor on it to see if it stayed afloat or even worked. I just couldn't afford it on my paper-round. There were a few aircraft or rather gliders as well. Batik was next, (which is a wax-resist dyeing technique) then there was probably drawing, painting and something else a week or two later. Everything was a 5 minute wonder so my parents were not going to spend money on a camera for me just in case the week after I changed my mind and went onto something else, which to be fair, I probably would have. I used my fathers Asahi Pentax Spotmatic which was a groundbreaking camera at the time when it came out, a bit like the Canon 5D II when it did but it eventually it packed up.

My father was an Graphic Artist for Crosse & Blackwell and then later joined Nestlé and became the Managing Director of the design department ,which I also believe included Findus Foods Ltd. He was obviously involved in packaging design and by then Art Direction so he was working with photographers on a regular basis and maybe that is maybe where my interest came from. Apart from the fact that both of my grandparent at some time or other worked for Kodak in Hemel Hemstead and my uncle too for all of his career. In fact my grandmother was a printer for them and then later for a photographer somewhere in Harrow , but anyway, I digress. I remember my father coming home with artwork and STUFF, just packaging designs and labels. I was fascinated by packaging labels. I think most boys my age would have collected Football Cards or Car Cards, but me, no. I collected packaging labels from my father. I even had a scrapbook full of them. I remember looking at packaging labels in the shops and thinking, I wouldn't buy that, its looks cheap. It was because the graphics and the photography were not up to standard. It just shouted out, poor quality etc. That still stand up to this day as I see so many people trying to sell products advertising them as cheap as possible with poor quality photography without knowing they have already degraded their own product.

Years later, I still enjoy the set parameters of having to produce an image to fit a layout or a brief. Of having to produce an image that will bring out the best in any product. It could be a £1,000,000 electromagnet, which are not that easy on the eye or a handmade £25,000 diamond ring, which when you look closely at it looks like it has been chiselled out with a cheap chisel or a £2.99 dog chew with plastic packaging. It still requires quality images otherwise you cheapen your product and your companies image.


Junior Photographer.
Darius Organisations Ltd.
Coulsdon South, Surrey.

That was my nickname when I was a lot younger which probably came about from my brothers and sister not being able to pronounce Bernard properly when they were very young. This is a selfie I took in my bedroom at home in the very early 1980's. Yes, that was my bedroom wall and some of those images were even taken before I left school. The Japan, "Cantonese Boy" single sleeve (bottom left) was just a copy and I think also the one next to it was a copy from Rush's Hemisphere Tour brochure. All the images I printed myself in my home darkroom on a LPL enlarger and actually some of the product shots were taken at home in the extension which was only used for parties until I took it over as a studio now and again. It's funny that, looking back on the images on the wall I was probably setting up more still life and product shots to photograph than anything else.

Bernie Bleach

1st and 2nd Studio-1500sq ft.
White Herons Farm, Colgate, West Sussex.

This photo was taken by a friend who was my assistant at the time in my 2nd studio in White Herons Farm, Colgate, West Sussex, probably 1993. I wanted to put a mailer out so I took all the framed images off the office wall, stuck them on the studio wall and stood in front of them. That was it. To be honest it was probably a case of not being able to make my mind up as to what single image to put out and I personally think it is good for people to see who they would be dealing with. It also showed a variety of the work I was doing at the time. After having been in a studio with inhouse processing and printing facilities I invested in my own processing machine, a Jobo ATL3. I could now offer E6 (transparency), C41 (colour negative) and black and white printing and processsing which gave me an edge on local competeion. I even started doing transparency and slide duplication.

Bernard Bleach

3rd Studio-2400sq ft.
Foundry Lane. Horsham, West Suusex.

Was I ambitious, or simply crazy to take on a 2400sq ft studio on my own back in 1995 on The Jubilee Estate, Foundry Lane , Horsham, West Sussex.
It was a large space but a tad expensive to heat. I do remember that one of my first jobs was to photograph a brochure for a swimwear company. This whole big studio and we were working in an area no bigger than 10' x 10' so I had to get some infrared heaters in just for the shoot placed either side of the model. It was November I think, poor girl, but she survived bless her. I carried on with the whole inhouse lab backup.


63, Ashleigh Road, Horsham, West Sussex.

Still at it after all these years, and still love it. It still motivates me to create images, and now that includes some video and motion graphics.