Sgt Rupert Frere, 35, is a British Army photographer, and travels all over the world capturing moments that only a select few ever get to see in real life. He joined the army at just 16, and has had an incredible career.
We decided to sit down and have a chat with him.
TheLADbible: So, what made you decide to join the army?
Sgt Rupert Frere: It's quite a funny story. Basically, my mum and dad made me go to the cricket club and because it was so boring I joined the cadets as it was on the same night!
I'd actually never really considered the army before that. When I turned 16, I joined the army and then I used to drive, moved on to bomb disposal, then in 2007 and found out about the photographer role and thought, why not? I'll give that a shot.
Have you always been a keen photographer?
Well, I was interested in it as a hobby. My dad was an amateur photographer, and he'd give me his cameras to have a go on. I guess it stems from there. I'm not a camera geek at all. I don't like talking about lenses and apertures, I prefer just going out and taking photos.
I thought that when I joined I'd be visiting exotic places photographing adventurous training like surfing and skiing but I've spent most of my time on exercise or getting shot at in Afghanistan.
Wow. So, what's the most interesting this you've captured on camera?
I don't know, it's hard to say really. The army's an interesting place. The most interesting thing is the people. We work with such a variety of different people in different places. A lot of my job is trying to get the personality out of these and find out a bit more about them.
I mean, I have photographed the Queen too at Buckingham Palace. I just took a couple of pictures alongside the press officer. I get to places that no-one else can, and I suppose that's one of the things that makes my pictures strong.
What opportunities have come along due to your photography?
I think becoming a photographer has opened the door to so many opportunities that weren't possible before. Recently I've been taking part in a TV show called The Sky Arts Master of Photography, which for me is the first time in 19 years that I have worked in a completely civilian environment, It's certainly been an experience, and hard work.
How do you get involved in army photography?
You have to be in the army first and foremost. So if you are interested, get in touch with your local army photographer and we'll keep you in the loop.
We run our own selection where you've got to pass fitness and aptitude tests. However, we're not looking for the world's best photographer, when I went I was up against these guys who had all their own camera kit and had been doing it for years and I didn't really know what to do. I just pointed the camera and took pictures. What I'm saying is, you don't need the technical skill because you learn that, you take a course. You need to be able to communicate, have a good eye and be able to blend in.
How does your family feel about you being in the army and how far you've gone with your photography?
I spend a lot of time away from home, it's not a 9 to 5 job. My wife, Sam, and my two daughters are very proud. However, I'm really proud of them for putting up with me. It works both ways. However, that's the same with a lot of people in the military - it doesn't get easier, we just get used to it.
Thank you so much for talking to us, Sgt.
You can see more of Rupert's work on his website here, and make sure to give the British Army Photographers' Facebook page a like here.
Massive thanks to everyone serving in the military from all of us here at TheLADbible.
Words by Mel Ramsay
Featured Image Credit: Sgt. Rupert Frere