On this World Photography Day we talk to music and entertainment photographer Christie Goodwin about where it all began with the tools of her trade.

"My dad was a captain-at-sea and from the age of eight I used to stay with him on board the ship during holidays. Daddy had a camera in the captain’s office in case something happened and he had to capture images as evidence. He took this photo of me with that camera.

It was a Pentax, not sure which model, which he held in this brown leather camera case with straps. When I close my eyes, I can still see the camera in front of me. He always kept the camera in the cabinet of his desk, left hand side. I was told in no uncertain terms that I should never touch/play with the camera so it became this illusive item that drew my interest. 

I danced around the desk for a bit just looking at the item while daddy was upstairs in the steering cabin. Just looking at it wasn’t enough of course, so one evening I took it out of the cabinet and I vividly remember holding it for the first time and being fascinated. 

I had seen my dad manipulate the camera so I knew I had to pull the little arm on the right side top of the camera and push the button but that was as far as my knowledge went. So after fiddling with it for a bit I looked through the viewfinder and that is where my fascination really jumped to a whole different level. I was mesmerised about the fact that you could frame and condense an entire world into a frame. 

I think that was my very first attraction to the camera and those first few times I sneaked off with daddy’s camera that was all I did, look through the viewfinder and create a new world into the existing world, a more condensed and organised view. 

My first few times I never pressed the button, but of course eventually I did just to see what would happen. I must have been 10 years old when I took my first photo with that camera. I felt quite disappointed that nothing really happened. It just made a clicking sound and that was that. In my innocence I was totally unaware what happened inside the camera and the consequences of pushing that button but I soon found out. 

It was a few months after my escapades with daddy’s camera that I returned to visit him on board of his ship and he sat me down and asked if I had played with the camera during my last stay with him. I tried to deny it but then he pulled out a pouch with pictures and in between the pictures of parts of the ship that I knew my dad must have taken, I immediately recognised my little works of art. Blurry and under-lit pictures taken inside my cabin on board of the ship. 

That moment is burned into my memory and not because I got a serious telling off but because my mind was blown by the fact that by pressing the button of the camera it had recorded what I had seen through the viewfinder. Something inside the camera had witnessed it with me and kept the proof. 

Yes, my mind was blown because in those days kids didn’t know about the process of photography like kids do now. My dad handed me my under-lit pictures and sent me off to my cabin where I was to stay as punishment. I remember sitting on the bunkbed looking at my pictures. There were a handful of them and I looked at them for the longest time. 

After this my dad found another place to store the camera in the hope I wouldn’t find it. I then would go out on a search and always found the new hiding spot. Even though I didn’t like making my dad upset or angry, that camera and my draw to it was just too strong and it is the only thing I ever did defying my dad’s authority. In the end it almost became a running joke that when I returned on board, I knew I would be told off but at the end of it I would receive my reward, the pictures I had sneakily taken on his camera."

View more of the Christie Goodwin collection available from Iconic Images.

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