For Andrew Brooks, it was the $ 50 concert that opened the doors to new possibilities.
Mr Brooks recently celebrated his 20th birthday by photographing for Australian community media newspapers, first with the West Coast Sentinel, and more recently, the Port Lincoln weather.
From the latest news to major events, including sporting action and wildlife shots, he has been on the scene – camera in hand – since 2001.
It was an opportunity to do sports photography on weekends for the Sentinel which provided him with new openings.
“The West Coast Sentinel were looking for a sports photographer and offering $ 50 to do it, but no one accepted it, ”Mr. Brooks said.
“It was mentioned to me and I said I was happy to do it – I would go watch the sport on a Saturday and take pictures.
“By taking on this $ 50 job that no one else wanted, it opened so many doors for me and I made a living from photography.”
Born in Ceduna and now based near Denial Bay, Mr Brooks said he had always been an avid hobbyist with a camera, but the Sentinel was his first job as a photographer.
He said the diary, and now the Times, had been a “cohesive part” of his life.
Over the past two decades, he has taken photos of murder scenes and fatal traffic accidents, as well as major sporting events and events across the region.
He covered the opening of the Iluka mine in Jacinth-Ambrosia and dealt with the plague of mice that hit the area in 2010 – during which he worked with a team from the Discovery Channel from England during one week.
In addition, Mr. Brooks worked with a documentary film crew diving with whale sharks off Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia for three weeks, and with visiting international crews filming automotive commercials.
He also remembers taking pictures of a young Scott Lycett when he was playing Under-17 football for Thevenard, before he was drafted into the AFL and became a Premier winner with West Coast.
Mr. Brooks Sentinel his work led to other opportunities, and he also took photos for The advertiser and sister newspapers, as well as overseas publications, as well as video footage for Channel Seven.
When not behind the lens, he is busy offering tourists practical advice for their stay on the West Coast as a staff member at the Ceduna Tourist Information Center.
He said he enjoyed taking different types of photos, from sports and action to nature and wildlife, while also tinkering with the creative side of photography like time-lapse photos.
His most expensive photoshoot is of migratory waders, which come to Australia every year before traveling to the northern hemisphere to breed.
“I love photographing internationally flagged waders – you can spot one from Shanghai or Siberia – and I’m happy with that,” Mr Brooks said.
He noted that like any job, there were some positive and difficult situations to come across.
“I like that you never know what’s coming next with the photography and the role variation,” he said.
“A difficult aspect is meeting the deadline and the pressure of it, as well as being involved in sensitive situations.”
This is the nature of the role, he said you didn’t know what might happen next.
“Sometimes I can get three jobs in a week and run to meet the deadline, then I can have nothing for a few weeks – it depends on what’s going on in the area.
“I’m on call 24/7 – I can get a call anytime telling me I need to go to the (Western Australia) border to cover a story.”
Mr. Brooks said he wanted to keep clicking with the camera in hand.
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