Starting my Career as a Photographer
Turning 18 and having a proper job allowed me to purchase my first 35mm SLR, a Praktica MTL 5B. A big heavy sturdy camera which still is in complete working order today, nearly 20 years since I first used it. I was now taking photographs every weekend and starting to build up a portfolio and a huge amount of negatives as well as a huge bill in the local chemist for printing. I needed options so I purchased a darkroom kit and started to develop and print a lot of my own black and white films in my bedroom. Turning a bedroom into a darkroom was a challenge but great fun at the time.
Moving on from the Praktica I purchased a Pentax P30, a superior camera to the Praktica but not as well built or solid as I got only two years out of it before I sold it on and got a second hand Olympus OM10. It was at this time that I started work in the Defence Force, having just turned 20. It would take another 18 months before I managed to get myself a place in the Air Corps Photographic Section, and what followed was 23 years as a Defence Forces photographer, travelling all over Ireland as well as overseas photographing the Defence Forces in action. It was one of the best jobs going and I thoroughly enjoyed most of it. Starting back in the late 1980’s in a darkroom and black and white film, with Nikon F3 cameras to finishing up using Canon 5D Digital cameras and Photoshop.
So here I am today, in my mid 40’s and the proud owner of 2 Canon cameras, a full portable studio set up as well as other photographic bits and pieces. My career to date has seen me work through huge leaps in technology and that’s why as a photographer you are always learning.
In my next article I will cover my career since I left the Defence Forces and how I feel my role as a photographer at events is ever changing and evolving.