Paul SandersI’ve been a professional photographer since the age of 19. My mind was made up for me at school hen the careers advisor told me I shouldn’t be a photographer – apparently it’s too competitive and I hadn’t got the right aptitude for it.

My career has been varied so far, I’ve shot glamour calendars, advertising work, wedding and hair fashion for a very well known hair stylist. But most of my photographic life has been spent as a news photographer or picture editor.

I started in news photography at a paid for weekly newspaper in Northampton and moved fairly swiftly to wards a career on Fleet Street, firstly with international wire service Reuters and by 2002 The Times. By 2004 I was made picture editor of The Times and took control of the visual content of the publication in all its various guises. I’d look through around 17-20,000 images everyday, assign photographers across the world covering everything from conflict to Royal weddings, weather features to business profiles.

By 2011 I got ill with stress related issues leading eventually to a breakdown, depression, insomnia and self harm, so by the end of 2011 I left the cut throat world of newspapers and set about shooting landscapes. I started using 5×4 Ebony cameras and 6 x 12 horseman as well as my DSLRs and to cut a long story struggled a lot, my illness didn’t help but the amount of kit I had bogged me down to the point that I pretty much stopped taking pictures.

By chance I went into the local camera shop and picked up an X-Pro1 with a 14mm lens. I decide dot get back my inspiration I’d only shoot with one camera and one lens for a bit. The joy of being free from the big bag of kit was like a breath of fresh air through my photography and my life.

So, You’re a Fujiholic?

Having used the X-Pro1 for a while, when Fuji released the X-T1 I was hooked from the moment I touched it – it reminded me of my Nikon FM2 – A camera I loved and still do, but here was this little camera that didn’t get in the way of my photography and had the looks and feel of a camera that got me started. I made the decision overnight pretty much to go Fuji. I started selling my Canon gear and acquiring Fuji lenses and some change!

Which is your favourite lens? Why?

I don’t really know because I go through phases of loving different lenses. When the 10-24 was launched I used nothing else for months. The lens I use a lot at the minute is the 50-140, but the lens that I have on my camera most is the 23mm.

The optics of all the Fuji lenses are stunning, so in truth the lens I have on the camera is my favourite.

What’s next for me?

I’m trying to get gallery representation, and it’s not as easy as it might sound, so this year is about getting my work into as many fairs and exhibitions as possible.