Friday, 15 February 2013

Street Talk: Michael the Photographer.

I found Michael lining up some shots near Sydney Harbour Bridge yesterday. My sunglasses fell onto the dirt as I asked him if I could ask him some questions for my blog. (I usually give people my blog card but had none on me. Smooth!)

He looked at me dubiously.

"Ahhhh, how long will this take?"

"Five minutes, tops."

Michael has always been a photographer. Originally from Brisbane, he's been living in Sydney for eight years now. He's full-time with News Limited and loves the freedom.

"I usually get an email the night before, letting me know my jobs the next day. No desk work, no office. I've shot a huge range of people, from the PM to bands to celebrities to sportspeople. It's never dull."

The hardest job he's had was covering both the Cronulla and Macquarie riots. I ask him which one was worse.

"Macquarie. It was dark, we were trying to not get hit by molotov cocktails. People were going ape. It was ugly."

We then got onto the subject of the incredibly shrinking media landscape. Michael said something about advertising revenues of publications and the figures and stats of how things used to be a few years ago, not just for Aussie journos but photographers too. Such a cross-section of industries downsizing. It's worrying. What will our kids be doing, twenty years from now? What will "industry" be then?

I asked Michael how safe his job was.

"Well, pretty safe. I think. Hey, there's always weddings."

We both laughed so hard and he didn't mind a bit that we talked for over five minutes. He walked down off the steps to shake my hand, and we wished each other luck.

Street Talk is an unfolding art project. I am so grateful and blown away that people say yes to talking with me, trusting me with some snippets of who they are.

Previous Street Talks:

1. Noelene the Young
2. Megan the Mouse
3. Harpal the Australian
4. Darren the Artist
5. Jo the Interesting
6. John the Telstra Guy

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Write to be understood, speak to be heard. - Lawrence Powell

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