This image was shot on a Samsung DUOS. Yes, I succumbed to casually snapping shots with my phone like everyone else these days!

I think I was 8 years old when I started using my father’s Zeiss-Ikon camera. For those of you from the digital age, you can imagine something from old movies if you like and you wont be far wrong. Film, of course. And expensive too. Just 12 images per roll of film which usually cost about a half day’s pay to get processed and printed. The format was 6x6cm film with no light meter, just guesswork at best. Set the shutter speed and aperture manually and pace out the distance to get the focus right, or just take a guess at that too. The results were usually ghastly, but after a while I learned a lot about the fundamentals that held me in good stead for the rest of my ‘photographic career’. At the height of that career I was using Mamiya gear: a 645-Pro with 6 lenses, 35mm, 50mm with perspective control, 80mm, 150mm, 210mm and 400mm fixed focal length, plus I also used an RZ67 with 80mm, 150mm and 210mm lenses. Big heavy stuff to lugg around. Tiresome sometimes.

Perry Bernard - photography
Perry Bernard - photography
Perry Bernard - photography

In 1990 I established a Kodak Express retail store in Tokoroa, New Zealand, with two business partners. I spent a few years running the technical side of the retail store and also working as a wedding photographer. That was a tough job! By 1994 I had sold up my business share and moved to Australia where I was the chemical quality control specialist in a wholesale professional photo-processing lab. In 1995 I got a call from Kodak New Zealand, back in Auckland. They wanted me to work there as a technical engineer assigned to their biggest account – Kmart stores. I serviced clients from Auckland south to Dunedin, travelling every couple of weeks and clocking up an awful lot of driving and flying miles. By 1998 I became the national trainer of photographic lab operation for the Kodak Express chain of stores, nationwide, for which I created a two day training programme and delivered this to paying clients on a regular cycle. My Kodak career spanned 11 years, coming to an end in 2006 when I began on a completely new path.