Sunday, 4 January 2009

Marcus Bleasdale: Banker-Photojournalist

I just read an article in the UK's Telegraph on the photojournalist Marcus Bleasdale, and his change of career from banker to photographer. The article highlights how someone who clearly didn't feel comfortable in the world of finance moved towards the uncertain and dangerous life of a photojournalist involved in conflict.

The article starts with this:

"As an investment banker, Marcus Bleasdale was paid £500,000 a year to sit in front of 10 computers and 25 phones. 'My job was to produce for the bank,’ he remembers, 'almost like being a battery chicken, sitting there laying eggs.’ There were perks, of course, and before the age of 30 Bleasdale was the owner of two houses and a 1968 Porsche 911, and he spent weekends skiing in the Alps.

And ends with this:

"Does he feel he has changed? 'I think I appreciate life a lot more. I think I’m more sensitive. I think,’ he concludes, 'I’m a nicer guy.’"

Marcus Bleasdale spent 8 years covering the brutal conflict within the borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the work was published in his book “One Hundred Years of Darkness". He is widely published in the UK, Europe and the USA in publications such as The Sunday Times Magazine, The Telegraph Saturday Magazine, Geo Magazine, The New Yorker, TIME and Newsweek, LIFE and National Geographic Magazine. In 2004 he was awarded UNICEF Photographer of the Year Award, the 3p Grant and the Alexia Foundation Grant. Marcus was awarded a World Press Photo award in 2006 and the Olivier Rebbot Award by the Overseas Press Club 2006, and is represented by VII.