As a 19-year-old in 1963, Ritchie Yorke locked himself in the studio of a Toowoomba radio station and played Little Stevie Wonder's "Fingertips Pt 2" eight times in a row. The on-air protest was an answer to the program manager's threat that he stop playing “nigger music” on his Saturday night rock ‘n’ roll show or face the sack, and had station staff not beaten down the door, Ritchie would have repeated the track indefinitely. At the time, no one realised that he would go on to become on of the world's most respected music journalists, making Editor of Rolling Stone, rubbing shoulders with Jimi Hendrix and Aretha Franklin, becoming friends with John and Yoko, and going on tour with Led Zeppelin. In fact, he still has Jimi's hat after being given it as a gift for appearing as a character witness for the guitarist in a Toronto courtroom, the city he moved to after the unsavory incident on regional Australian radio.
David Dare Parker has made a name for himself photographing some of the most dangerous places on Earth. The Perth native has travelled through the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Iraq and the multitude of military coups and street protests that plague South East Asia.
In between taking photos in the scariest places on earth he still manages to find time for his side projects at home. He’s a founding member of the °South, the Reportage Photo Festival as well as serving as an Australian Ambassador for Nikon.
Jack Picone is a Bangkok based, award winning Australian Photojournalist who has been covering war zones since the early 90s. Picone has travelled from the Middle East to Eastern Europe and Africa—where he covered the 1994 Rwandan Genocide that saw over a million people murdered. In short, he’s the guy to talk to if you have any questions about catching shrapnel in Armenia, the difference between rebel wars and traditional wars, and the importance of documentary photography.
ALLHIPHOP.COM: How long have you been taking photographs for, and how did you get started?
I got involved in photography during the summer of 2006 through a series of events where I met celebrity jeweler Ben Baller who later introduced me to DJ Skee. At the time Skee co-owned an entertainment public relations company called “Hype PR”. I worked with Skee that summer lending my talents to whatever I could at the time. Throughout my months working with Skee I always carried my camera with me to document my experience at Hype. Everything was new and exciting to me, and I felt that photos would help preserve those moments as keepsakes for me later on. After a couple of months working with Skee he asked me if I could take some new publicity shots for him. I gladly accepted his request and in the end Skee liked the portraits I shot of him. A few weeks later I received a call from Skee asking if I was interested in photographing Game and his team for a new project they were working on together entitled “The Black Wall Street Journal Vol. 1”. Again I took advantage of the opportunity and headed down to his office to meet with Skee and Game. That night I shot with Game, Ya Boy, Juice, Skee and a couple of other guys who were present for the studio session. From that night on I dropped by a couple of more studio sessions with Game and began to build a rapport with him. Once I realized that my photographs had something special to them, I dedicated more time to the craft and learned about the art and business of photography. I started shooting regularly and publishing my work online. Soon after, I started receiving commissioned work from different publications and artists. I then took it a step further and implemented my other talents to my work. I think the one that’s complimented my photography work the most is my graphic design talent. It’s allowed me to express myself fully as an artist when shooting and designing projects. The most recognized projects being Nipsey Hussle’s “The Marathon”, DJ Quik’s “The Book of David” and Schoolboy Q’s “Habits & Contradictions. I think those projects earned me recognition and respect on my art and branding execution.