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My earliest memory of photography is from a school trip to England in the 1980s. I was given a disposable camera to shoot souvenir pictures. They were horrible: completely underexposed and out of focus.
I am self-taught as a photographer. For my 18th birthday my father gave me a Canon reflex camera and a booklet about photography for beginners. That’s one of the most important books I ever read.
My first assignment was a sports meeting shot for a local weekly newspaper. The editor-in-chief gave me the opportunity to shoot pictures and be paid for it. These were my first steps. I can't be grateful enough and I will never forget that autumn Sunday morning in a small village by the River Rhine near my hometown in the Alsace region of France.
The assignment that left the biggest mark on me was in July 2001. Just a few hundreds metres from home a violent storm brought a tree crashing down onto an open-air concert, killing 13 and injuring more than 100 spectators. A colleague and I went to the scene just minutes after the accident in heavy rain. Spectators, including my own neighbours, were waiting for first aid. That’s something you never forget.
The stories that excite me most are those that require planning, organisation and teamwork.