Happy New Year and welcome to my website for 2012!
My head is still spinning from twenty eleven. Wow, what a crazy action-packed year that turned out it was! All the travel, assignments, personal photography, publications and climbing became a bit mind-boggling at times. To kick the year off we produced a new Blue Mountains Sport Climbing guidebook, then I did photography trips to Lake Huntley in Tasmania, The Darrans in New Zealand, The Grampians and Arapiles as well as a bunch of more local shoots, helped work on the pilot for a new TV show, produced Rock Odyssey which culminated six years work, produced the 2012 calendar, did a massive climbing and photography trip to France and Spain (and made a very successful visit to the Frankfurt Book Fair whilst I was over that way), then came home and squeezed in a series of slide shows before Christmas. Phew! Did we really do all that? Crazy.
So over Christmas and New Year’s I took a bit of break, enjoyed home life for a bit and catching up with family and friends — and incidentally also saw our darling daughter, Coco, turn three…yay!
Over the break I was reflecting on the crazy year gone by and I couldn’t really imagine backing it up with another year like that… But um, short memory eh, because before long I started thinking about the year ahead, started hatching some plans, and yep, this one is already looking pretty darn full-on already. No doubt, or at least I hope (because I wouldn’t want it all to be predictable), a lot of things will come up that I haven’t envisaged yet, but if we do only half of the things we’ve got planned already, then it’ll be super busy and satisfying as it is. I’m psyched and looking forward to getting stuck into it all! Details, details? Well, yes, all will be revealed (right here in this blog) in due course — as soon as I can — but let’s just say my photography and work on publications won’t be slowing down this year. One thing I’ll mention now: obviously a new Australia coffee-table book is well overdue but that is just one of the projects we’ll be working on… And along the way both Monique and I have some climbing to do too… It should a great journey, I hope you can join us for the ride!
Don’t get me wrong, my optimism and energy doesn’t mean that I think everything is rosy, it’s all going to be easy and the outcomes are a given. I don’t. If you were to ask me: Do I think the business of being an Australian outdoors photographer, particularly one with a climbing obsession, is an easy one? No, it isn’t and I don’t see that suddenly changing. Creative photography is nice and all very well but should I perhaps produce more, say, guidebooks instead because as least people have a need for those? Yes, probably, my accountant would no-doubt recommend that. Should I stop shooting so much climbing just because I love it — and instead spend more time shooting other subjects or put more effort into finding gigs for more commercial work? Sure, that might be a good idea, the appeal is obvious and many “climbing photographers” have gone down that road… Has the game changed much since I started 18 years ago? Man, the internet then digital cameras changed EVERYTHING! Honestly, for starters I don’t miss sitting in front of the light-box sorting slides for days-on-end. And while some good things (publications, assignments and other gigs) have disappeared, in their place a lot of other opportunities have come along too. And while every climber and his dog has a camera these days, I actually find all the creative energy out there really stimulating. I like that there’s more and more interest in what I’m doing these days, it was a far more lonely profession when I started out (and this year I’m looking forward to sharing more of my photography thoughts, tips and tricks). And the toys, well they just keep getting better (can’t wait to get my hands on Nikon’s new D4, drool… looks sensational!).
So I’m optimistic. And I’m going to keep shooting (climbing especially) and producing as much as I can. I simply love my life and my work and I’m grateful for the opportunities I get to do something that is creative and which excites me. I think climbing is the best sport, errr, no… climbing is the best way of life that I know and it as been in my blood for over 26 years now. It also does (or at least can) take place at some of the most spectacular places on earth. I simply love the outdoors and climbing in particular and I want to share that through my photography. I want to bring something positive to the scene. Let’s celebrate and appreciate the good, the energy, the really amazing things that climbers do. Let’s get psyched!
So to everyone who has supported my work: Everyone who has purchased a book, a calendar or a print. Everyone who was interested enough to come along to one of my slide shows. Everyone who critics my work and gives me feedback, comments, encouragement and helps spread the word. Of course, the climbers who have “modelled” or belayed for a shoot. The editors and business clients who have published my work, given me cool assignments. And my sponsors: Sterling Rope and 5.10. THANK YOU to you all! The support is simply awesome and I can’t do it without you.