photo courtesy of © Gaz Jones Photography
Aside from being a photographic artist, there is so much more to know about me outside photography.
My profession is a full-time commercial pilot. I am a Captain of a Gulfstream G550 & G650 for a private operation, and part of a small team of pilots and flight attendants who work directly for a family in Hong Kong.
I adore my job. My career is something that I wanted since I can remember. After working my way through the long and arduous maze of learning to fly (I was eventually fortunate enough to be sponsored by an airline through training and into a job), I found myself a few jobs down the line working in a position that allowed me to consistently travel around the world, coupled with decent location-based downtime. When at home, I was fortunate enough again to have a work arrangement where if I was not flying I was either participating in aviation training courses, paperwork or ‘off’, and this allowed me quality time to pursue other significant interests.
In 2014 I co-founded a gym in Hong Kong and to this day still have a significant level of managerial involvement with what is now 4 fitness centres across Southeast Asia (see post on Pinnacle). This challenges me everyday, and I am grateful for working with some of the best people I know.
I am bordering on obsessed with coffee and have a growing interest in wine, the former being my true love and have attained an SCA Coffee Skills Diploma over multiple modules of training and examinations over the last 5 years. One day I certainly hope to have my own espresso bar, but for the time-being I am content to home-roast my own beans and pretend my friends care about the passions and science behind espresso!
I have enjoyed many hobbies, and spent most of my 20’s trying everything I could afford or have the time to do, including traveling if you can include such a generalised ‘activity’, but one thing that seems to drive my personal travel plans is Scuba Diving. Having been lucky enough to practise it for 20 years, I have managed to get to Rescue Diver (PADI) level and am only recently in the last year or so trying to put some photography skills to use underwater, not that successfully I might add!
Photography though was always the one that became the common denominator, whichever ‘passion’ I turned to. It’s always simmering under the surface but I also knew that it needed significant dedication, education, training, and lots of practice. It was also something that you can’t just throw money at and sit back and wait for someone to instruct you or for you to naturally evolve your skills, or that any camera on the market can automatically fix. There’s a romance to this for me: you have to ‘work hard, play hard’ in order for the skill of photography to permeate you.
Outside photography, ‘hobbies’ or skillsets (all of which I constantly try to improve, everyday – the learning should NEVER stop), I am passionate about enjoying life to the fullest of one’s abilities and maintaining a balance between action and education. I believe people should want to educate and inform themselves in order to make the best choices in life so that one may enjoy it the most, after all that’s what it’s all about, no?
I learn better when doing, and I work hard when I do. For me to progress in anything I have to put myself out there and work hard at it – most things don’t come naturally and I find it difficult to read, digest, memorise and do. So throwing myself into uncomfortable learning environments is really where I grow and develop the best.
The main motto I have carried with me throughout my adult life, thanks to my parents, is ‘work hard, play hard’. I am happy to say I’ve given both aspects the best and most of my time.