By Mike Hutchings
Balancing the dual roles of photojournalist and parent can be challenging at times – unpredictable hours and long assignments can be disruptive to family life.
But being the son of a photojournalist has its perks. My son Daniel had the chance to meet former South African President Nelson Mandela three times while accompanying me on stories.
On the first occasion, he was only six weeks old. I had been waiting for Mandela to arrive at a function in Cape Town’s Waterfront district when my partner Shannon called and asked where I was.
“Waiting for Mandela at the Waterfront,” I replied.
Her response was fast. So fast in fact that I could almost hear the slamming of doors and the screeching of tires as she grabbed hold of Daniel and sped off to join me. In a flash they were standing next to me, moments before Mandela arrived.
Mandela’s love for children was well known, driven perhaps by the pain of separation from his own family during his incarceration and early political life. Invariably, when he appeared in public, he would immediately zoom in on any children present. And that engagement always made for good pictures.