I hated my first job. I was a management accounting clerk - what was I thinking? And I was bad at it. I resented having to wear a tie so I went to the op-shops and bought the fowlest, most disgusting 'bad taste' ties I could find and wore a different one for 40 consecutive days. I resigned and left after having worked there for 364 days; something deep within me told me I must not work there for more than a year. 

I threw caution to the wind and travelled for 2 years, working on a fishing boat in Australia, picking cherries in France, washing dishes in Copenhagen, and office-hopping in the UK. 

On returning to NZ I was lucky to fluke a job as a photographer on a small newspaper in my home town of Levin. With no experience and not having studied photography this was a life changing break. I worked there for a year then spent 6 years as a staff photographer on The Evening Post, Wellington's afternoon daily broadsheet, and a bloody great newspaper. 

I have been a freelance photographer since 1997. I explore and photograph the world and the detail within. My purpose is to help people stop and see. The welds on a steel cage on a frosty morning. Dying flowers on a crushed car. A wasp on a windowsill. A sadhu in India. An inappropriate tie.

Covering Pasifika festival for Ministry for Pacific Peoples   Photo by: Mark Tantrum

Covering Pasifika festival for Ministry for Pacific Peoples   Photo by: Mark Tantrum