From the age of 10 I wanted to be a skydiving cameraman.
I started jumping in 1993 at a DZ call Halfpenny Green in the UK but quickly moved to Skydive Langar when Halfpenny green closed down. I’ve now done 8500 jumps with about 6700 of these jumping cameras and am still at Langar most weekends.
I never owned a camera before I started jumping one but my main interest is now taking photos of others – I still get a kick out of seeing my photos in print.
My favourite photo I have taken is of the 400 way world record in Thailand in 2006 – I can still remember the visuals of being one of the first to open and then watch 400 people fall away from me. The other cool thing about this trip was meeting all of the best big way FS camera guys and trying to copy them!
After World Team ’06 I concentrated more on team jumping (in the cameraflyer slot) first with the British 8 way team (Connextion – World Meet 2006) then with Bodyflight Storm where we won the Womens 4 way event at the World Meet in France in 2008 beating the American Team by 1 point – nail biting stuff!
Another highlight was filming a live TV advert in 2008 where 16 jumpers spelled out the word ‘HONDA’ in freefall.
After 2008 I had a plan to further my career outside of skydiving so took a break from team jumping and tried to get ‘regular’ jobs – of course in between these jobs I would jump as much as possible and even got a Tandem rating in 2010.
The ‘regular’ career path has been, and sometimes continues to be quite stressful but it makes jumping all the more enjoyable and I am starting to do more skydiving events again. The 100 way outfacing Diamond event in Klatovy this year was certainly a highlight and I’m looking forward to doing more with that team next year. I’m also looking forward to going to the Christmas Boogie at Skydive Algarve in Portugal to film FS groups.
One of my top tips for camera guys is to use a parachute that opens well – I personally jump a Pilot 124 by Aerodyne and it’s the best opening canopy I have ever jumped!