Some people use their biography section to ‘big up’ their abilities and emphasize commercial value. “My photography will generate sales…yadder yadder…hire me”. Why bother? No doubt you have looked at all the pretty pictures before visiting this page, so you know if Allen’s style rings your bell. Instead of all that shtick, let’s just stick to the facts.
The facts are simple. Allen is an English photographer living in Malta with his wife Joanna and three children, Emma, Matthew and Andrew. But, beyond that simple statement, they do say that there are 5 interesting facts about everyone. So what are Allen’s?
Interesting Fact 1: Allen played football for Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C.
As a schoolboy Allen was on the books of Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club, as a goalkeeper. That’s really something special because, if you know anything at all about the club, you’ll understand that it’s the busiest position on the pitch. Then it all went wrong. Allen dislocated a knee in a friendly game; thus ending a potentially stellar career. Why? Well if you can’t carry out your chief duty (bending down repeatedly to retrieve the ball from the back of the net) you’re of no use at Wolves. Instead Allen made the best of a bad deal, became an art director and photographer and settled for a life of fast cars and super models. It’s tough but someone has to do it.
Interesting fact 2: Allen was a cutting-edge house music DJ
Back in the day Allen was a renowned House Music DJ. What day was that you may well ask? Well Allen was one of the first to start playing Chicago House music in nightclubs, when U2 and Goth were all the rage and Boy George didn’t look like a kebab-munching docker. You should have seen Allen’s masterful mixing techniques on the Technics 1200’s. He used to collect Chicago Trax Record Label 12inch American Imports the way Vinnie Jones collected Red Cards. Now the only grooves he collects are on his forehead.
Interesting fact 3: Allen is a mean cook
Not mean as in great, mean as in he tends to skimp a bit on the ingredients. Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Thai, Allen has murdered all the great culinary traditions of the world – and don’t think the English get away with it either. Allen’s Traditional 4,000 calories a portion Christmas Day Lunch is just what you need on a typically freezing 65F degree December day in Malta. Christmas on the beach is no fun at all, let me tell you, Allen misses the lovely fog and drizzle of Shropshire. That’s right, cry for him.
Interesting fact 4: Allen is not and never will be a D.I.Y. enthusiast
Do not, under any circumstances, ever ask Allen to fix your car or do odd jobs around your house. Although highly skilled and adept at work (Allen can light and shoot the Forth Bridge, no problem) but ask him to iron the cat and he’s all fingers and thumbs – and bits of cat, obviously. Allen’s long-suffering wife once asked him to seal the bathroom sink. One lump hammer and a silicon gun later, it was game over and sink cracked! So now Allen’s got a good thing going with the local tradesmen. he promises not to tackle jobs around the house if they, in turn, promise not to do their own photography. Works just fine.
Interesting fact 5: Allen is also an Art Director
It’s an obsession. Guessing the font used in film titles, doodling concepts on paper napkins (sometimes other people’s paper napkins on other people’s laps) Allen’s mind is constantly a fidget. That’s what more than 20 years art direction experience does to a man. How many photographers do you know who are passionate about typography? Allen should seek treatment. A Bank Manager once told Allen to turn his obsession into a money making venture. Instead he opened his own design and advertising agency in Malta – Storm Creative Services. With clients in the UK and Malta, Allen works on advertising campaigns, branding and corporate identity projects, brochures and, in recent years, web design, eMarketing, search engine optimisation and social network integration for businesses. All that and he still gets to snap the odd pic or two! If you need high-end digital, large format, studio or outdoor, retouching and smart art direction (all at competitive prices) you know where to come.
Finally, the big question. Why is an English photographer, working for some of the world’s leading organisations, based in Malta? Well as any decent snapper will tell you – ‘it’s the quality of the light, darling.’