Today Brooke Fraser is a highly successful singer and songwriter. In her homeland of New Zealand, her albums are certified 15x platinum. She's known for her hit songs such as "Something in the Water," "Kings and Queens," "Better," "Lifeline" and many others. Outside of her solo recordings, Fraser has also been known as the writer of many Hillsong Worship music ("Hosanna," "Lead Me to the Cross" and "Our Father"). When we once asked Hillsong's Darlene Zschech what her favorite Hillsong songs were, she said without a blink, "Anything by Brooke." But did you know that Fraser was once a shortlived celebrity photographer? Here's her story:
"It was 1999. I was around 14 or 15 years old and an aspiring journalist. My friend Dan Wootton and I would write stories and take photos for the youth page of the Dominion Post. Our editor always used his hands when describing us as a journalism duo: "Dan's Pick/Brooke's Take" (and we would always wonder if it didn't seem more obvious for it to be "Brooke's Pic/Dan's Take").
I was pretty excited when my first serious photographic assignment came up: to document the concert of the band Live (remember Lightning Crashes and The Dolphins Cry, etc) with the band Sugar Ray (the name of their big song escapes me) at the Queens Wharf Events Centre in Wellington.
I got Dad's Nikon (film) camera and my fancy press pass, and caught the train from my home in Lower Hutt into town.
I don't remember much about the show itself other than feeling super-cool and slightly superior being right in front of the stage in the press pit, with my bright orange MEDIA pass stickered to my top while I clicked away and got creepy smiles from the Sugar Ray bass player.
The comedown happened hard and fast the next day when I tried to wind the film and the spool was loose. I took the camera into a camera shop to get it fixed and retrieve the film, where I received the devastating news that there was no film in the camera.
Needless to say, my friend Dan went on to become the 2014 Showbiz Reporter of the Year at the British Media Awards, and I was never asked to take photos again.
I did end up having dinner with Ed Kowalczyk, the singer from Live, a couple of years ago in LA, and sheepishly told him the story, which he thought completely hilarious.
And that was my first gig!"