David Katz story:
I was given my first camera as a 7 year old and have been in love with photography ever since.
Having always wanted to be able to express my own particular way of seeing things through drawing, and realising that I could see in my head how I wanted things to look, but was unable to transfer that to paper with a pencil or paintbrush, I settled for a camera as the next best thing.
At 15 after a trip abroad I was encouraged by my father who had looked at the pictures to develop what he described then as a “talent” and get a better camera, which I then did as soon as I could afford to after leaving school and starting work at 16.
Once I had my first 35mm SLR a Nikon EM in my hands, there was no stopping me.
As an absolute football fanatic, it was not long before I wanted to try my hand at photographing it, and not content with going over to the local park like everyone else, I wanted to be on the football pitch with the press photographers at Arsenal in what was then the 1st Division of the English Football League (now the Premier League).
Incredibly and with the help of a well known statistician and football magazine editor I managed to get a press pass to my first Arsenal game as photographer and went from a supporter on the terraces to being on the same field as the players I had idealised as a kid growing up, from that point I was completely hooked.
Within three years of that first match with much practice, enthusiasm and the use of my mothers kitchen as a dark room, plus some experience of getting my sports pictures published in the local paper, I was already knocking on the doors of the British National Newspapers and getting more money for one picture in a national newspaper than a whole week in my administrative office job, it was the final stages of the 100 year stay of national news agencies and newspapers in the world famous Fleet Street in the heart of the City of London.
Just before my 20th birthday after being given a chance to prove myself by the then Daily Mail picture editor I gave up my job and decided to see if I could make it a professional sports photographer in the national press.
Nearly 27 years on with the first 6 at the Daily Mail, and then the Daily Mirror, where I was considered to be one of the top national newspaper sports photographers in the country, learning how to cover news and features, having gone on to work as Reportage photographer documenting Holocaust survivors returning to the Death Camps they had been held captive in 50 years on called Never Say Never, which I won the B’nai B’rith Award for Young Leadership for, and publishing a critically acclaimed book called 50 Faces of Israel portraying life in Israel approaching the 50th anniversary of its independence, then on to a new Jewish communal newspaper called the London Jewish News, where I stayed for 6 years as a part of the team that took the paper and the Media Organisation that had now bought us out Totally PLC to Press Gazettes Regional Newspaper of the year in 2003 and becoming an all-round press photographer and picture editor.
Deciding in 2007 to move to Israel where I went back to my sports roots for a while, covering soccer and basketball for Haaretz, the most well known newspaper in Israel, at which point I was honoured to be approached by the 2009 election campaign team of former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and to be the campaigns and his official photographer in his re-election to becoming Israel’s Prime Minister for the second time.
After this using my knowledge and experience to advise on the use of imagery in the Social Media as well as photographing the different aspects of day to day life in Israel so that journalists, diplomats and the general public have a better understanding of the changes that are happening in the Middle East.
David will be revealing how he managed to build such as successful career with deteriorating eyesight.