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Hotseat - Prichard Gibson

758_hotseat~ A great photographer ~

Prichard Gibson lived on St. Maarten as a child going to school, meanwhile enjoying the multitude of friends every little girl has as a child. She danced with Motiance at the time, which probably is one of the factors building her artsy nature. You might also remember her from her swimming instructor days; she taught swimming for three years at Franky's Swimming School when she was in high school. Many children will have fond memories from that time, overcoming their fear of water and learning how to swim, one of the most wonderful sports – and probably the most important when you live on an island. Swimming teachers are usually very strict (sometimes even a little mean); it must have been a real treat having a lovely young lady like Prichard teaching you how to swim.

Prichard completed her studies in the US and has most recently returned to St. Maarten. She will be re-starting her photography workshops in September. For starter and intermediate photographers, this is a great opportunity to learn the techniques of photography from a seasoned photographer and professional in photography.

Where were you born? Tell me a little about where you grew up.

I was born in Bryan Brazos, Texas. My parents lived in the Caribbean at the time so we returned to St. Maarten immediately after my birth. I moved between the Caribbean, Holland and Miami in my childhood, but I lived the greatest chunk of my childhood in St. Maarten and Miami.

Where did you go to school?

On island, I went to Butterfly Pre-school and then continued on with St. Maarten Academy and Learning Unlimited. I completed my last year of high school in the Netherlands at an international school in Wassenaar, Den Haag. Yes, I am the epitome of a Third Culture Kid (TCK) – an expression you've probably heard linked with Obama due to his international childhood.

Where did you go to college?

I got my Associate's in liberal arts at NY University, and I then continued and received my Bachelor's in fine arts – I majored in photography. I then completed my Master's in business administration in an international program at Webster University.

What did you do immediately after you finished college?

I worked for several years as a photography agent and producer. I worked for "i2i Photography" where I started out as an assistant and then worked my way up to becoming a producer. I produced work for companies such as Novartis and Ritz Carlton Magazine then I moved to Greenhouse Reps, where I worked as an associate agent representing some of the most prominent photographers in the industry. We did shootings for Panasonic, Altoids and Rolling Stones Magazine. One of my favourite moments as an agent was working with award winning photographer Andrew McConnell; getting him his first assignment with National Geographic was definitely one of the highlights in my career.

What is your profession and where do you currently work?

My current profession is Photographer. I work for myself doing commission shoots for clients and portraiture primarily, but I'm not limited to this. I went to school in New York and did visual arts, which was very broad, so I am specialized in various segments of photography.

I teach photography workshops, geared mostly towards beginners and intermediate photographers. In September, I'm bringing back the Digital Photography workshop and I'm introducing the Photoshop workshop starting on September 7 as well. The workshops will take place at Belair Community Centre.

Besides working as a photographer, what are your hobbies or interests? Give us a description of a regular day in your life.

I'm getting back into fitness and dancing. I've signed up with Dance Theater of St. Maarten and I'll start taking lessons when classes resume in September. I have started learning Mandarin (Chinese) for fun and I'm enjoying it. Next to that, I socialize with my friends; go to the beach and movies, and enjoy great dinners at the many fabulous restaurants on island.

What are your ambitions for the future? Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

With me, you never know. I'm just hoping that every year continues to be better than the next.

Do you have any days off from work, and what do you do on those days?

I dictate my schedule. I work every day, but I do take a couple of hours downtime, during which I train and meet with my friends. My life has a pretty nice pace right now, I really like where I am at this point in time.

If you could invite three famous people (dead or alive) for dinner, who would they be? What would be the one question you would ask? And what would you serve them to eat?

1) Stephen Hawking – Please explain physics to me.

2) Richard Branson – Please explain business to me.

3) Oprah – Please explain spirituality to me.

I'd take them all to Scilly Cay and serve them real Caribbean crayfish.