Rather than me babble away every month I want to try and give a little bit back to the people that I've got to know over the last few years. So without further ado first up on the cards is none other than Pro Sports Photographer and pal (I think) Russell Pritchard.
41, work full time as freelance photographer, married 2 boys 17 and 11 shoot Nikon, love sport and boxing.
Where do live?
Ballyclare, Northern Ireland
How long have you been a professional photographer?
Completely Self Employed now for 10 Years !, when you wake in the morning and don’t have guaranteed money, trust me it makes you work harder on your images.
And how did you get started as a sports photographer?
A guy let down Glentoran FC one Saturday for their team photo, I happened to be there, got the gig, and never looked back
There are so many great photographers but just go with the first two that come into your head for the next question.....
Which sports and non sports photographer's inspire you most?
Al Bello, Dave Cannon (Getty)
If you could pick one camera and one lens only for the rest of your life what would those be and why?
Nikon D4 and 50mm, i got stuck in London with Tyson Fury and had to shoot the whole night with just this combination and i loved the results
Money, everyone is in love with the idea of being a photographer, I get paid less now than I did 5 years ago, and the amount of images I have stolen is obscene
And the easiest?
It’s what i wanted to do, I left a £33,000 a year managerial job one day, came home and told my wife i was going to do Photography full time, and started in the Down Democrat for £150 a week, by the time I paid my petrol every week there wasn’t much left. That takes balls, all the new guys want to start at the top doing international matches etc
Do you think post processing is over or under rated?
It has it’s place, i’ve processed the shit out of certain images that I had to, and the next day I’m sending Live images from a match and I do Nothing to them, I get it all right in camera, I’ve got my D4 set up for sport were I don’t even have to sharpen
Digital or Film?
Digital, although I’m shooting Film at the minute for a top secret project :)
What's been your best experience to date as a sports tog?
Spending an all access day with Rory McIlroy when he won the US Open, for Sports Illustrated.
And the worst?
Travelling to Cork overnight to photograph Pierce Brosnan, and he decided after 2 shots he didn’t want to do it !
You're currently working on some video footage for Breen's gym, is this something you think you'll get more involved with in 2014 and how does it differ from stills?
Video frys my brain ! BUT, it’s some of the best fun I’ve had in ages, I’ve seen a lot of video, but only a small amount of it is good. The processing is so much slower than me sending my stills live from the pitch. Video is definitely something I think photographers need in their arsenal, more and more people ask for it now, BUT you have to get paid for it.
Carl will be World Champion in 2014, FACT. I’ve done a lot of weddings over the years, but with knowing Carl and Barry McGuigan so well, it was very relaxed, and he knew what he wanted, great fun, AND I got fed !
Like most of us I think you're a bit of a social media junkie but what's your favourite social media channel?
I have a massive Love / hate with Twitter, it’s helped me so many times, never liked Facebook, but I like to blog the odd time, but Twitter for me is no1. I went to shoot Amir Khan v Paul McCloskey in Manchester, and was able to connect with Paul and meet up at his hotel, simple things like that wouldn’t have been possible without Twitter
What's your most favourite image to date from your own work and tell us a bit about the image?
My favourite image is the one of Carl Frampton in a New York subway. We had a half day shoot set up, lights hired, make up people, everything, then it rained, he couldn’t shoot outside. If he gets a cold or chest infection he could miss the fight and lose a lot of money, so we made a few calls, hired a studio, shot him on white backgrounds with a 3 light set up and went home and put together 4 composite images, ironically these have been my biggest and most profitable pics of 2013.
Dan Carr, Grant Brittain, Cameron Baird, and keep an eye out for Charles McQuillans surfing pictures he’s working on at the minute.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in photography apart from stay at home?
Don’t copy ! Try and keep your mouth shut, we had a guy recently who started freelance and decided to start bitching about everyone else’s stuff, not a great first impression. Needless to say he didn’t last too long. Keep learning, never think you know it all, be humble.
Where do you see yourself in another 5 years?
Apart from yourself, name three photographers we should check out?
Weddings - Ciaran O’Neill, Sport Sportsfile - Stephen McCarthy, Photoshop - Scott Kelby
Give us three words that describe you?
Loyal, Bald, Perfectionist
Aside from coffee what's your tipple?
Who's going to win the Irish League?
Anyone but Linfield please
What's your idea of the perfect night in?
Me, my boys and a Steven Seagal, Van Damme, Schwarzenegger Movie
What's your favourite holiday destination?
Prego Steak at Nandos
Carl Frampton……. Of Course
Bethany Carson, Swimmer from Lisburn
Russell on Twitter
Russell on Google+