ANTONIO Baidoo was never a fan of school. Attending Sir Walter St John’s high school in Battersea he found his classes uninspiring with the teaching leaving much to be desired. As many aimless teens do, Antonio found himself falling in with the wrong crowd and left school with no real ambitions for the future. Whilst in education Antonio found a job at a frame makers. Commenting on this first job Antonio remembers being “sent off for a long wait or a tin of stripy paint”. He found little excitement in making tea and dusting shelves, but he had no idea that someday he’d fill one of those dusty frames with something of his own.
At age 18, Antonio developed a passion for photography and ‘acquired’ his first camera, an old Praktica from his older brother’s room. He began to attend news conferences to photograph the events though he never found the confidence to send any of his work off. “I wasn’t emotionally ready at that point” he recalls.
Tired of the mundane scenery he’d become accustomed to Antonio began to harbour a lust for travel. His older brother always came home with stories of adventures in foreign lands and began to envy that adventurous spirit. Taking odd jobs, Antonio worked hard to save and before long he was exploring the globe himself.
It was in Brazil, at the world cup that he found himself reviving his talent for photography. A friend running in a marathon asked Antonio to capture the event. This same friend later helped to organise Antonio’s first photo exhibition in a small gallery. Seeing the appreciation of his work, his future became clearer. Combining his talent with a camera with his love for writing Antonio sets his eyes on pursuing a new career in photojournalism, starting right here at Harlow College.
Report by Jack Perring