Were it not for the photography department of England's Newcastle Polytechnic in the early 1980's, budding artist Richard Whitfield might have been the next Leonardo da Vinci. Either that or he'd have starved. "I went to uni to study painting," says the veteran lensman. "But I switched to photography after I realised you can't make money as a painter - unless you're dead."
The art world's loss has been our gain. Since arriving in Australia after ten years as a commercial and advertising photographer in Hong Kong, Richard has travelled the length and breadth of Queensland on assignment for Who. His notable "sitters" include Pauline Hanson, Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush and a swag of Big Brother winners.
But for Richard - who lives in Brisbane with his wife and producer Cathy, daughter Wesley and son Willem - its stories about everyday folk that interest him the most."So often people have amazing tales to tell" he says. "When people like you have been through an ordeal or an amazing experience, you really feel inspired".
Whatever the assignment, Richard always delivers. He involves the subject in what he's doing and always gets the best out of them by taking an interest in them," says senior editor Craig Henderson, who has joined Richard on numerous assignments. He's also a master at lighting a shot, to the point its almost his signature".
Jane Nicholls, Editor Who