Ian Hay studied photography in England after which he served an apprenticeship as a photographers assistant in London, whose business he later took over. Much of the work he undertook was for commercial and industrial advertising.

In 1986 Ian returned to Kenya where he grew up and established his business in Mombasa on the Kenya coast. Since then Ian has diversified into other areas of photography including underwater and aerial photography for offshore drilling and exploration as well as for the hotel and tourism industries throughout East Africa.