Pretty sure it was early 2001 when a mate at the time hired a Fuji GX617 and I tagged along with him to a trip in the Blue Mountains', funny enough while he shot I slept in the car, that was the level of my interest in photography at the time. A few days after I got to see the slide film shots he took and just the size of the images was really impressive, from there my interest grew and grew. Until one day I just went the whole hog and got a $7000 loan, bought the Fuji G617 a tripod and a light meter and a few boxes of film and haven't looked back since.
When I first started out, photography courses especially for film didn't really exist, the latest Canon digital out was the D30 so it was early days. It was a case of learn off others and trial and error. For my whole career I have only shot Fuji film and my starting block was the data sheet for Velvia 50 film, that combined with writing notes on each exposure taken was critical in learning quickly. Courses are an excellent way to learn photography and cut years off trial and error shooting. But nothing beats getting out there yourself and just taking photos.
I think I have too many cameras. But my equipment cupboard has a Fuji GX617, Fuji G617, Fotoman 624 (110mm lens), Hasselblad 6x6 (40 & 60mm Lens), Canon 5D Mk II, Canon 7D, 17-40mm f4 lens, 24-70mm f2.8 lens, 70-200mm f2.8 lens, 400mm f5.6 lens, I have the Aquatech underwater housing for the 17-40mm lens, I scan all my own film on the Imacon 343 scanner and then general camera bag stuff like tripods and filters etc.
What did I do before I turned Pro ?
Before I took the plunge and did photography full time I was a Senior Constable in the NSW Police Force. I actually did photography for most of my Police career as it was a great break from all the stress and horror you experience as a cop. Plus working 4 on 4 off gave me heaps of time to get out and shoot.
Do I take work experience people ?
I get asked this all the time and unfortunately with the way we work and the hours we are not able to take work experience people.
Owning your own print and framing lab ?
Over the last few years we have invested extensively into our business in terms of being able to in house 90% of everything we offer on our web site. Framing, printing, acrylic face mounting, canvas everything we do in house and are able to offer our customer excellent pricing as we don't have a "middle man" taking a slice of the profits. The ability to offer a high end product in a short time frame at an excellent price has been a real turning point for us and we will continue to invest in this side of the business.
What's in the future for us ?
Well we are pushing forward with the publishing of our books and the expansion of our work in all areas, making us one of the leading landscape photography businesses in NSW and Australia. We aim to shoot the images our customers want to see and buy.