Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Crazy English guy wearing a kilt....

Ok so some of you guys and girls are probably wondering what the hell was I doing wearing a kilt on the piste at the last day of the alpine world championships in Garmisch Partenkirchen. Well for those of you that have not heard, the race was my last ever ski race as a freelance photographer. So I thought I would go out in style wearing the Gunn tartan.

I have had to give up sports photography now due to the fact it just is not financially viable. So I shall return to London and get a full time job probably back in the security management area. I will not work as a part time photographer, as this is one of the reasons that makes it hard to work as a full time photographer, when you get bank managers, IT guys etc etc, the guys with too much extra money and no life at a weekend that they have to go take someone else’s job, and then giving their photos away for free or posting them on social networks etc without a watermark so people that may have purchased images in the past can just get a free copy. I may sound bitter and quite frankly I am, I spend hours in freezing conditions trying to get good shots only to find that clients have used a free photo which is of piss poor quality or shot from the finish area and heavily cropped into.
I often think I should go to their main place of work, do a sub standard job so they have to quit, just so they can see what it feels like....

You may see me again on a race piste but that will only be if I manage to secure a full time job as a photographer, and as there are only 3 agencies that cover all the races, this is highly unlikely to happen, but I can but hope.

Over the past 4 seasons I have had a great time, and now have some fantastic memories which will stay with me til I go senile!! My favourite memory has to be 2 years ago during the Val d'Isere World Champs, I was meant to cover them but due to my mum getting rushed to hospital I had to miss it, the young Swiss ski racer Lara Gut emailed me most days asking after my mum,

and Ana Jelusic the Croatian skier also emailed regularly.

On the race courses I have also had some fun moments, like the time I had a yard sale in Semmering a few years ago, Lindsey and Thomas Vonn skied off to pick up my ski's camera gear etc, even though they were in the middle of a course inspection. Last week has also been good because I got to see a friend become a world champion I am chuffed to bits for Ted Ligety, and I think there is lots more to come from him.

Life on the tour can be long and lonely at times, especially when travelling around in a motorhome, I have been lucky to occasionally have pretty cool neighbours like Bode Miller, Julia Mancuso, Marc Berthod, Daniela Cecarelli. On the piste I have always tried to make the working environment a fun place for me and my fellow photographers, I am always ready to play the fool, or even sometimes the dumb Englishman!!!!!

I will let you guys know what happens




Primoz Jeroncic / PhotoSI said...

As I told you back in Garmisch, you will be missed. Truly!
Sure you were annoying bastard sometimes (let's exaggerate now "a little" bit :)), but in general, these years we had you around, were great fun.
So I still hope you will be around in future too, and we can have beer in Soelden next season already. But if not... I wish you all best, and lets stay in touch.

Mitja said...

Mitch, I will not repeat some old story about the photographers and giving away the photos for free... That's reality and expecting to be different, I don't think so... We did discuss this theme for some many times... But no exit at all. As you might know even in the professional atmosphere is not everything like in heaven... Today you have friend, tomorrow will be competitor... Even if you are most wanted photographer as Samo is... it is not easy to get the job...
What to say at the end? This is not the end, my friend, but the beginning of new story... You know, during the summer I was really missing the guys from the slopes, not just skiers, but almost the photographers from Reuters, AFP, EXPA, Getty, Agence Zoom, AP, Gepa etc... We are like one big family... You'll be missing part anyway... But I still hope for you that you'll be maybe one day back... As Primo┼ż said: the beer will waiting for you in Soelden at October, 2011. Until then have a nice time and I hope that we will be in touch... Mitja

MissPam said...

Hi Mitch, cheer up! I hope you've made a wise decision. Life is full of trials. Regards to your Mom and Brother. I miss you.