1) Where and what did you study and when did you graduate?
I studied Film and Television Production at York St John University in York, graduating in July 2011.
2) Where do you live now?
I live in Reigate, Surrey, UK.
3) Tell us about your job...
I’m a freelance camera operator and guarantee, specialising in live television broadcast production. When camera guaranteeing a job I’m effectively responsible for overseeing the rigging, setup and testing of all the camera equipment, ensuring any problems are dealt with throughout the production and all the kit is returned ready for the next production. For some jobs I’m booked as a camera operator, some as a camera guarantee, and more often than not I’ll be booked to do both.
My work takes me to some weird and wonderful places, both in the UK and abroad, and getting to travel whilst working has always been important to me. I’ve worked on a wide range of things from the BAFTAS, X Factor, Brit Awards, Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and music festivals in the entertainment sector, to the Winter Olympics, The Ashes, PDC Darts, Golf, MotoGP and Horse Racing in the sports sector. Getting to work in different places including Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia and Dubai is great fun and a good opportunity to see different cultures and meet interesting people. It’s a crazy job and I love it!
4) What did you want to be when you were younger?
Originally I wanted to go into music as I’ve always had music around me and started learning instruments from a young age. However I was also very into my photography and that progressed into an interest in filmmaking. I got the bug, made a plan and it went from there. That’s not to say my passion for music hasn’t died as I still produce music on the side when I get time off from filming!
5) What did you do immediately after leaving university?
I was quite fortunate when I left university as I’d already started working as a runner on the cricket season for Sky Sports before I’d graduated. That was a 6 month contract with an outside broadcast company, then I continued to bug them for more work and managed to get enough to pay my rent until the end of the year when they offered me a full time job. I stayed with them for 3 and a half years before going freelance in 2015 and have never looked back.
6) How did you feel about your future when you graduated?
I was nervous about going into such a competitive industry and knew I needed to rise above the rest in order to get noticed and end up where I wanted to be. There were many times where the thought of giving up and settling for a steady income job behind a desk was very tempting, though I knew I’d waste my life doing something I didn’t enjoy and be bored out of my mind.
"Why would you want to work towards someone else’s dreams when you can work towards your own? Believing in myself is definitely what kept me going!"
Don’t listen to the naysayers, learn from those that give up, take every opportunity you can, and BE YOURSELF. If something’s not working for you, adapt and change it so it does. Remember you’re in control, it’s your life and you only get one.
8) Would you have done anything different?
I’ve always had a passion for all things music, though the career opportunities during school always seemed to point towards teaching. Making it big in a band seemed an eternity away and I decided to keep music as a hobby. Had I known at the time there were so many different avenues for careers in music, things may have gone differently. Ever since then I have missed the music in my life and by going freelance, I have now freed up enough time to pursue both passions of mine. So again, adapting and staying in control is key.
9) What inspires you?
People who make something out of nothing. The ability to grow an idea in the mind to something incredible through steely determination and complete belief in yourself is truly inspirational. It’s a solid example that anything is possible and you can do and be whatever you like when you put your mind to it.
10) What would you like to say to our graduates looking for inspiration?
Listen and learn from your idols, but don’t dwell on their success. It helps to remember they all started from the same point in this world, so anyone can do anything. Put what you’ve learnt into practice and be the next inspiration to others after you.
"Don’t worry if you’re not doing exactly what you want to do as soon as you graduate. Things take time and use the opportunities you get as stepping stones to end up where you want to be."
11) Your three favourite words
Live for now.