Biography - Bernard O'Sullivan - Founder of Inside Out Photography
I was first seriously smitten with the photography bug in the early 1970s while I was still at school. Later in my early teens, I joined a local camera club near to my parent’s home in Manchester.
After three immensely happy and informative years at Blackpool College, I graduated in 1981. My first job was as a retinal-medical photographer at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, to say that this wasn’t the most creative job, was putting it mildly, and I left or escaped after 10 months.
In 1984 I joined the Cheshire County Council exhibition and graphics group based in the Northwich Salt Museum. This gave me experience of working alongside graphic designers and illustrators, gaining invaluable insights into how these allied professions worked. I was also lucky to have access at that time to 5x4 and medium format camera kits. It was at this point that I really started building my portfolio, spending what little spare money I had on film and processing. There is no doubt that mistakes were made along the way but more importantly I was getting practical field experience.
Between 1986 to 1991, I worked for two Manchester studios, the second studio closing down in 1981 due to one of the many recessions I have experienced in my working life. By now though, I felt I had the necessary skills to embark on the scary adventure of my own business, and after much prompting from past clients, fellow photographers, friends etc, I founded Inside Out Photography (IOP) later that same year.
Since 1991, I have worked for a disparate client base, undertaking a wide range of commercial, architectural and industrial photography jobs UK wide and occasionally in central Europe. For the past twenty-six years of working for myself, I have provided images to support major projects for the public sector, through to modest one-off commissions for SMEs, regularly winning major professional photography awards.
I am constantly on the look out for any new technology which allows me to push the creative barriers further and further, whether it is high-end 36.3 meg pix cameras, specialist perspective-control optics, extensive studio lighting or the latest creative-software.
For me the most precious thing about working for yourself in the creative services, is the drive it engenders for continual self-improvement. I feel passionately about photography and genuinely try my utmost to treat each client and commission as if it were the most important shoot I have carried out!
This passion was also the motivation behind my involvement with running the BIPP nationally and regionally, I was NW chairman for 3 years and I am proud to have been awarded The BIPP Presidential Award in 2013 and in 2016 The Peter Kaye Award No connection to the comedian for services to the BIPP nationally and regionally respectively.
In common with the majority of commercial photographers, I work mostly on my own these days and only use assistants when a job really does demand it. The reason is simply to minimise costs and therefore keep invoice values competitive for my clients, in addition you can be assured that your commission will be carried out by myself.
In 2014 IOP opened a second site second site in the picturesque Derbyshire village of Tideswell/Buxton, this allows IOP to service a wider geographical area whilst keeping fuel/travelling costs to clients reasonable!
To me, photography has always been a magical blend of boys-toys, gadgets and personal creative freedom. Even after thirty-six years of working professionally, I still get a buzz from walking into a mundane scruffy environment and coming away with exciting images that surprises the client and puts a smile on their face!
I love being a photographer: it has allowed me to do and see things, which in the normal scheme of life, I would never have had a chance to experience, in short its pretty cool! If you look good, then I look good!
Bernard O’Sullivan ABIPP
Proprietor of Inside Out Photography
Past Chairman of the BIPP North West region 2010-2013