Acclaimed press photographer for over three decades reveals he’s been legally blind since birth

Dec 20, 2017

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Acclaimed press photographer for over three decades reveals he’s been legally blind since birth

Dec 20, 2017

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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This is an amazing 15 minute mini-documentary highlights the life of internationally acclaimed sports photographer, David Katz. Specifically, it highlights the fact that he’s been legally blind since birth, being diagnosed at only three months old with ocular albinism. It’s a genetic condition characterised by a lack of pigmentation in the iris.

David managed to keep this secret from colleagues for over 30 years. In that time has photographed such famous faces as Queen Elizabeth, Princess Diana, Amy Winehouse, Michael Jackson and Elton John. And he says it’s all down to the encouragement he received from his parents as a child.

YouTube video

David also suffers from astigmatism, nystagmus and strabismus. Combined this causes severely impaired sharpness of vision, and problems combining vision from both eyes to perceive depth.

Katz got his first camera when he was 7 years old. A gift from his parents. One with which he immediately fell in love. It allowed him to focus, both literally and figuratively. He pursued it relentlessly and started his career at the Daily Mail at the age of just 19. By 20 he was already considered one of the top photographers of the British Press.

In a career spanning 32 years (so far), he’s kept his blindness a secret yet still produced amazing work. Now, he’s opening up and talking about it.

Each time I tell my story, it’s becoming less difficult. Being visually impaired has never been anything I’m embarrassed about. I’m proud of it. It’s made me the photographer and person I am today.

– David Katz

David says he hid his blindness because he didn’t want it to define him. He didn’t want people to judge him and his work without ever having even seen it. He wanted his work to do the talking for him, which it very much did.

It’s an incredible story, and truly inspirational. It really makes you sit back and think about the excuses we come up with that we feel are holding us back. And when we do actually that… Sit back and think about it, they’re really not holding us back at all. We are holding ourselves back.

You can find out more about David and see his work on his website, or follow him on Instagram.

[via PetaPixel]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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2 responses to “Acclaimed press photographer for over three decades reveals he’s been legally blind since birth”

  1. Motti Bembaron Avatar
    Motti Bembaron

    Looks like he has a heart the size of his smile :-) Great attitude! Great work!

  2. Tj Ó Seamállaigh Avatar
    Tj Ó Seamállaigh

    Something to inspire me against my Retinitis Pigmentosa. Thanks.