I first picked up a camera when I was 7 years old, and this became
a habit which infuriated my mother as I`d be clicking away all her negatives, and
then when she`d want to take a photo the camera would often be out of film. I
soon found my grandparents had a camera too, so I could vary who suffered my
need to go “click.” Of course this trend didn`t last forever as adults are a
little smarter than young boys and the cameras usually only came out of hiding
when needed, so my opportunities dwindled.
A few years later I was given a 6x9 `Agfa Clack` which I was
able to fuel by doing countless household chores. See what I said about adults
being clever. This kept me going until at 14, after realizing that you could
actually extort money out of people for doing menial tasks, I had saved enough
to buy a 35mm rangefinder which was a revelation. This camera gave me
apertures, shutter speeds and focus!
A year of tormenting family and friends ensued along with
the need to find additional ways to pay for film and processing without
actually breaking the law. On the up side this fascination with photography had
progressed to the point where I had been working enough to upgrade to an SLR,
complete with a 35-70mm. This really stoked the fires, other lenses followed,
and within a couple of years my thoughts of a career as a Marine Biologist went
out the window and photography took over.
About three decades have passed since then, obviously with
many different cameras and lenses. I`ve been really fortunate that this career
has introduced me to some amazing colleagues, taught me about journalistic
integrity, taken me around the planet, and shown me huge contrast along the way,
from shooting Olympic Games, America`s Cup and International rugby amidst a
crowded stadium of 110,000, to a lonely skateboarder trying to nail a kickflip
or kids playing football in a slum.
Having seen my photos used in publications like The New York
Times, National Geographic and Sports Illustrated validate what seemed like wayward
dreams while I was running around at school shooting sports events and daily
life… ok, we were 17, so daily stupidity mostly.
I`ve seen plenty of change in photography, which in turn has
changed the industry, but I still try and attack it with the enthusiasm of a
little kid who`s just taken off with his mother`s camera and is trying to get a
sneaky shot of the cat hiding underneath the kitchen table.