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22 November 2010

Australian Media and Photographer Legend Dies, by Greg Tingle - 22nd November 2010

RIP Peter Carrette. Peter, you were an angel among us. I feel blessed to have known you. Glad we caught up at the Bondi Beach Sea Shepherd on Friday. It was strange how we first met at Kerry Packer's funeral in 2005, at the Sydney Opera House, on a day which was more a celebration of life, rather than a focus on his death. When I moved to Bondi Beach in 2008 our friendship blossomed, and you were always an attentive ear, and a wonderful source of information and humor. Your Packer and nightlife stories were fantastic and music to my years. Being able to make modest donations to your orphanage in Cambodia was and always will occupy a special place in my heart and memory, as it will for our dear friend, Eva, who also just loved your presence, generosity of heart and spirit, and your photos of course. Eva and I just loved the gifts we got from you at the beach on the weekend, having been sent over from your orphanage in Cambodia. Your Tony Abbott costume you wore to the Sea Shepherd No Compromise! event on Friday night was a classic, just as you were. Knowing you enriched my life, and that of so many of my friends and acquaintances. You were one of the Australian media's great guys, and I think you knew that I saw you as a bit of a father figure or uncle also, even though I never said those words. You were smart enough to know. The visits to the "best office in the world' at the pad at Bondi Beach were also a fun and memorable experience. Your beautify energy, passion and warmth will always be remembered. You made me, and others, probably look so much better than we actually were, thanks to your artistic and creative gifts. Your colorful shoes will be hard to fill. Always in my mind, and whenever I walk down the hill to the beach I will continue to think of you fondly. You were way too good, in too many ways, to only be remembered as a great photographer. You were a wonderful human being. Another legend has been lost, but will never be forgotten
Greg Tingle, Founder and Director, Media Man


Australian Media and Photographer Legend Dies, by Greg Tingle

One of Australia's most colorful and successful photographers Peter Carrette has died of a heart attack this past weekend.

Regarded as one of the good guys in the pap and photography biz, London born Carrette first came to prominence when he photographed a sick Marianne Faithful in a drug coma in her hospital bed circa 1969.

Faithful had tripped to Australia with musician Mick Jagger who was to star in a film about Ned Kelly. She had over-dosed after, it was claimed in the British press, she had discovered Jagger in bed as it were, with another woman.

Carrette donned a white doctor's coat and stethoscope and sneaked into Faithful's room, snapped the photo that was flashed around the world as one of the first examples of intrusive photography. Earlier this year when Faithful was in town for the Sydney Festival, she advised new media outlet 'The Shuttle' she'd still like to give the snapper a "quick boot in the backside". However she later revealed she had forgiven him.

After a stint of studying photography in London, Carrette traveled to Sydney and picked up gig as Sir Frank Packer's copy boy when the media baron owned Daily Mirror newspaper.

Once established he worked for various publications photographing news. He ambushed the US invasion of Grenada by hiring a smuggler's boat while the world's news media waited for official transport in downtown Barbados. He also did well in New York for 6 years and photographed for leading fashion title Vogue in Paris for 2 years.

A few years back here in Sydney he and another pap squirted the actor Heath Ledger with water pistols at a Sydney film premiere. The images of a startled and wet Ledger was flashed around the world. He was ever so briefly banned by film companies from movie premieres and the like, but later made peace with Ledger shortly before he died in New York.

Carrette also supported an orphanage in Cambodia by donating the fees received from his exclusive candid photos of celebrities often taken around Bondi Beach.

He ran his own studio and photo biz from a Bondi Beach flat, "The greatest office in the world" he said, where he had lived for the past 20 years. The flat is owned by his good mate, Jack Thompson.

Carrette was well liked in the industry, a keen philanthropist, and gave a lot back to the industry.

He attended the Sea Shepherd Bondi No Compromise! event at the beach on Friday night at the invitation of Media Man, who has collaborated closely with Peter over the past 3 years, usually at Bondi Beach and often on community based projects.

It's understood he passed away on Sunday evening from heart failure while working at his computer.

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