Photography is a passion that usually starts early in life and my case was started with a simple gift of a camera.......
At the age of 11, I was given an Instamatic Camera by my parents for Christmas. After finding it too expensive to get film processed, I decided to do it myself and setup a wardrobe as a darkroom and six months after that, I was given an opportunity to go to the Auckland Star on work experience on Saturdays and School Holidays.
I followed other photographers around on their assignments but very soon was able to cover my own assignments for the Auckland Star and 8 O clock newspaper. When I left school, I was a graded junior photographer in Press Photography in lieu of the time at the Star.
I then started a Commercial cadetship with a leading English Photographer, Cyril Taft. Freelancing from his studio was leading fashion photographer, Des Williams along with Bruce Benson and Neil Liversedge. I spent several years of building Room sets, Fashion sets, setting up large format Cameras for Architectural work and Still Life photography.
Two years later I began an 18 months stint as a Portrait and Wedding Photographer with Primrose Hill Photography ( an offshoot of Christopher Bede Photography) followed with a little commercial work thrown in.
At the age of 19, I was offered a position as a "J1" (Junior) at the NZ Herald. Over the next four years, I would cover everything from Waitangi protests, Springbok buildup, General news, Sports, Features and Racing. During this time, as a junior, I won several awards, one was Runner up in the Qantas Press Photographer of the Year awards.
After a two year break from photography ,I was offered work in Brisbane with The Brisbane Daily Sun. General newspaper work with a heavy emphasis on sport. I also did general news work and some fashion/page 3 girls.
Six months later, I joined the The Manly Daily Group. They had a stable of four suburban publications with a small team of Photographers covering all the northern suburbs of Sydney on a daily basis.
In early 1984, the Auckland Star was restructuring. Jim Tucker, then editor, offered me work as a Senior Photographer and we returned to NZ.
I played a major role with the Auckland Star Fashion section which was very successful and also won another Qantas award.
The next 7 years were to see many changes...
The 8 O clock and Saturday Star were to close, replaced by the Sunday Star.
Change of ownership. NZ News to INL..It is now owned by Fairfax Ltd
Shift of building and later Auckland Star to tabloid.
Major events covered over these years included:
Whakatane Earthquake, Elections in 1984. Olympics in Korea, Coups in Fiji. World Cup Rugby. Commonwealth Games in Auckland and many other events.
During my last year at the Star, I was part time Illustrations editor of the Sunday Star (Done a week about with the Chief Photographer)
In 1991, the Auckland Star was restructured and after 5 years of redundancies, the 5 th round was for volunteers. I volunteered and started freelancing using my redundancy payout as capital.
After taking redundancy and in the early days, I was supported by Telecom, Air New Zealand, Colliers International, many PR consultants and a bit later, the Warehouse shooting the images for their mailers.
This enabled me to really setup my darkroom and studio with the best equipment.. including an E6/C41 colour lab! I was well equipped for catalogue and small/medium sized still life... Kids fashion. Brochures, Calendars, In house publications, Magazine work and Public Relations anywhere...! The studio equipment made extensive use of Radio and Infra Red technology to make it extremely precise and very quick to use. Using this equipment early on for the Warehouse catalogues made it very cost effective for the Warehouse to produce the thousands of transparencies they needed for their product range and with good quality.
In 1996, the first practical Digital Cameras were released. This saw the complete change from film to Digital. The Colour lab equipment was all sold and the sink bench and plumbing converted to a nice clean Meltica bench for Computer equipment and printers. Although we kept one single film camera, it only ever saw about 3 rolls of film a year and since 2000 hasn't seen any that I can remember!
Over the last few years (2004-2013) it was a privilege to be asked to help out with judging the photographic awards for the NZ Sports Journalists Association. The entrants of these awards are Newspaper and Agency professional photographers from all around NZ so it was a pleasure to be able to do this.
Please call me at (021) 961 936 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org