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Peter Wickham

As long as I can remember, I was fascinated by photographs. I begged and pleaded for a good camera and at the age of 13 my parents bought me my first SLR camera. An entry level Ricoh, but it was the start of what has become my career.

At age 16, I painted the perimeter wall of my parents home for pocket money to buy a basic enlarger and all the chemicals and trays needed to set up a rudimentary darkroom in an unused outbuilding on the property.

At age 17, I did my first commercial job which commissioned me to take photographs for the instruction manual of an electronic medical device. I supplied the printed images used for the print and this machine was sold, and used very successfully, locally and internationally. Whist the payment I received seems completely insignificant today, it equated to 15 average tanks of petrol in those days, and that in today’s comparison is very significant. My future career was determined at that point.

After finishing school, I served my defence force conscription in Pretoria and as I had a polaroid camera, was the guy everyone in the barracks came to for pics to send home. This served my pocket well and bought my luxuries and entertainment whilst serving my 2 year stint.

On completion of army I was set on studying photography but funds for this were not forthcoming from my father who said he was not going to pay for me...

FOR THE FULL STORY OF 825 WORDS CONTACT pictures@africamediaonline.com

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