BEHIND THE LENS: Fond memories of star photographer
IT STARTED with a photograph ‒ a single black and white photo in the newspaper, a moment captured in time.
Foamy waves like honeycomb wrapped around the legs of children playing on a beach, delight plastered across their faces.
It was the first time I thought, ‘I want to do that, I want to be a photographer’.
Fifteen years later, I find myself sitting in the car with the man who took the photograph, Warren Croser ‒ we’re listening to the cricket on the way back from having spent a ‘trial’ day with him.
The day started at Mullumbimby, waiting for helicopters to bring back the rewards from a drug bust. It ended with a nude calendar shoot.
Again I thought, ‘I want to do that” ‒ not the nude calendar bit … the photographer bit.
It was the start of an 18-year career at The Northern Star andit’s been better than I ever imagined.
I was lucky to learn an enormous amount from Warren, and just as lucky to work with Jacklyn Wagner, who taught me to think beyond what everyone else could see, to aim for an image that stopped people in their tracks to pick up a paper ‒ “Look outside the box,” was her mantra.
There have been many talented photographers along the way, and many in the community have been lucky enough to have been photographed by Marc Stapelberg, who took the last front page photograph yesterday. He was always striving to take the “perfect” photo and forever willing to go the extra mile to achieve that, he’s an inspiration.
While veteran photographer Darcy McFadden had left by the time I started, he has been a regular visitor to the office and is always fascinating to chat with to.
Times have changed since Darcy graced our halls ‒ the darkrooms are long gone, enlargers replaced by computers, but the goal is the same ‒ to record history, to enact change, and to help people.
And people truly are the best part of the job ‒ from the wonderful people who have welcomed us into their lives to share their stories, often at the worst time in their lives, to the many talented journos I’ve had the pleasure of sharing long car rides with, you have been amazing.
But some of the best people of all are the people sitting around me today, helping get the last paper out the door, I’ll miss you.