Rick Stevens - Freelance Photojournalist

Rick Stevens
'I'm a news, features and sports freelance photojournalist.'

Rick’s clients include the Sydney Morning Herald, Associated Press and Taronga Zoo. He first began his career as a messenger boy with the Sydney Morning Herald and then undertook a cadetship in photography. He worked for the paper for 40 years before becoming a freelancer.





What does your job involve?

I’m a news, features and sports freelance photojournalist. I cover a lot of wildlife and environmental issues. I also undertake sport assignments for Associated Press and covered the 2006 Commonwealth Games and the Australian Open Tennis.

What interesting projects have you been involved in?

I find most of the assignments interesting – crossing the Simpson Desert, diving with great white sharks, travelling through the Gobi Desert in Eastern Asia, the wedding of Mary Donaldson in Copenhagen, and covering the Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games are particular highlights.

One of the most interesting was the visit to Mongolia with six Mongolian (Przewalski) horses that were part of a captive breeding program at the Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo. We travelled by air with the horses and landed in the Gobi desert where we spent a week photographing them in their new environment – hopefully where they would breed and again become part of the Mongolian landscape.
Another really interesting project was covering the 2006 Doha Asian Games torch relay that covered 50 000 kilometres across 15 countries and regions.

How is the industry changing?

I think in the future, the industry for still photography will become limited. Stills will be taken from video and there will be a lot more emphasis on online media.

What do you wish someone had told you about the industry before you started on this career path?

I am glad nobody really told me anything about my job – it’s the best job in the world.

What qualifications do you have?

I have a Diploma in Photography from the University of Technology Sydney (then the Sydney Technical College) where I did a two-year photography course. Then I did a four-year cadetship at the Sydney Morning Herald.

Are there any particular recruitment practices that candidates should know about?

Knowing someone in the industry is a huge benefit. And having a reasonable portfolio. Try to get work experience.

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