HOME is where the heart is for former Port Elizabeth resident Darren Sacks, 33, who has carved out a career as a sought-after paparazzo. Having conquered the bright lights of London and captured many a celebrity in less than flattering positions, the lensman says he is now considering moving back home.
On holiday in Port Elizabeth and speaking from his parents’ Fernglen home, the former Alexander Road High School pupil said: “[Besides] escaping Britain’s unpleasant weather, it’s nice to be home and to sit around the dinner table with family. I have not had one restaurant meal. My folks, Zilda and Michael, have a nice place and have kept my room.
“Although working in London has its perks, you realise after a while that, no matter how much money you make, you cannot replace a family set-up. I had tea at my grandma’s, have had time to go to the gym and I enjoy the slow pace of life.”
No one can fault Sacks for wanting some quiet. He has had some major breaks this year, one of which was being ahead of the pack when it came to the birth of Prince George.
“I recently took a picture of the Duchess of Cambridge shopping at Zara in King’s Road, which fetched $12000 (R124000). Although not a single paper in the United Kingdom would touch it, the press in the US, Australia and the rest of Europe pounced on the picture,” Sacks said.
The duchess’s public image was carefully controlled and Buckingham Palace had an unspoken agreement with the press to maintain this, he explained.
“The palace will call the press if Kate is going to a film premiere or a charity event, but there is little room to manoeuvre outside those parameters.”
Sacks was also the photographer behind a cheeky image of a makeup-free Adele Adkins that was published in the Daily Mail. Captioned “someone like us”, the picture of the singer sold for £5000 (R84000) and enabled Sacks to establish a direct link with the head of the Daily Mail and other top-selling titles.
“When I first started out I took pictures for the sake of it. However, since I have become established I have had the freedom to step away from the fray and take pictures of celebrities in their natural state.
“Adele is notorious for hating to be photographed – not only reclusive but also litigious. She changes her guards often and employs ex-military personnel to protect her,” he said.
Sacks is a former Weekend Post Faces of the Future model winner.