Have Camera - will Travel... or so the saying goes. For me that is pretty much how it has turned out.
I am a globally accredited professional photographer, CASA accredited Drone Pilot (RePL), and also hold a CASA Remotely Piloted Aircraft Operators Certificate (ReOC). I have been fortunate to have photographed some of the largest and most vibrant sporting events on the planet, including:- The Indianapolis 500, Formula 1, NASCAR Daytona 500, NASCAR Brickyard 400, Professional Bull Riders (PBR) World Finals, Special Olympics, Ultra Trail Australia, Whitewater World Championships, a bunch of other NASCAR and IndyCar races, the US Drag Racing Nationals, and a number of cool events such as the Spartan Obstacle Racing series.
I grew up in a small country town in the Riverland on the Murray River in South Australia. Had a pet Kangaroo, a dog called Ralph, and a motorbike. Since then I have lived in 13 towns/cities, in 5 different countries, on 3 continents.
I have also managed to get to more than 1,000 towns/cities around the World, in 46 different countries. In order to count it I have to sleep there, or spend the entire day. Just going through the airport doesn't cut it.
I currently live in the spectacular World Heritage listed Blue Mountains north of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia... with air so clean you can smell it, and the only thing I can hear when sitting in our pool with a gin & tonic are kookaburras.
Married to a lovely lady who puts up with me, and have two great kids (one of each currently both at University - with mum & dad their on-call ATM cash machines).
To see it you have to go... and I plan on going - So I Will See You There!
Apart from being #1 pool boy and rubbish bin attendant at home, when I get the chance I get into some of the following.
While many of my photographer buddies are primarily into photographing weddings, babies, and studio portraits... I am not. For me my weekends usually involve getting covered in dirt, bull snot and crap (literally), or flying one of my Drones somewhere (either taking photos or doing Asset Inspections). It is not unusual for me to have to put my gear under a water tap at events (try washing bull snot off... and crap really stinks in case you were wondering).
I am what you would describe as an on-location photographer and aerial remote pilot.
AERIAL - am an accredited (ie trained and legal) CASA Remote Aircraft Operator (ReOC) and CASA Drone Pilot (RePL & AROC). Photography & Videography, Building Inspection, and Site Mapping.
SPORT - ranging from motorsport, bull riding, ball sports, obstacle racing, running, whitewater, canoe racing, martial arts, boxing, and so on.
EDITORIAL - for various print and online media.
TRAVEL - and not your luxury cruise kind, but more the backpacking around India kind.
Sure anyone can take a photo, and many are quite good at it... and with the advent and proliferation of more user friendly prosumer cameras and iPhones it is certainly becoming a much wider reaching vocation, with social media making it even more so.
Then you have the people who have taken it another step, who have actually completed training and achieved qualifications in the profession, and subsequently: (1) know what all the buttons on their camera actually do; (2) don't use the auto or program function; and (3) means that they are eligible for membership to relevant professional industry associations and bodies.
While this by itself certainly does not guarantee that the photographer is any good in relative terms, it does however suggest that they (1) have the commitment to get to this point, and (2) have met certain qualification criteria in order to pass their training, and to be accepted as a professional association member.
So for me, in addition to simply pushing every button on my camera I could find to see what it did, I did study photography (in New York City as it happens), and have been fortunate to have been accepted into a number of industry related associations, both in Australia and Internationally.
While some of them are what you would describe as your typical 'industry association' (every industry has them for the most part), several of them involved quite strict qualification criteria, and their obtainment and accreditation are required to attend certain events (in my case a number of domestic and international sports), or to be able to pilot a Remotely Piloted Aircraft (drone) of a certain size (i.e. large ones), in certain locations and airspace, and in non-standard conditions (i.e. at night).
I have also completed First Aid, CPR, Emergency Control, and Fire Warden training.
When not taking photos or flying a drone... you will find me here. See You There.