Emmy Award winner returns home to Illawarra

FOND childhood memories have lured internationally renowned camera operator and director Paul O'Loughlin back to the Illawarra to live and set up a photographic business.

O'Loughlin, his wife Diane Fox and daughter Rose, 4, have moved to Shellharbour where they are launching Paul O'Loughlin Photography.

The Emmy Award-winner is also busy working on some of Australia's most watched television programs such as The Voice, where he is the camera supervisor for the 14 cameras and operators on the main set.

He performed the same role for the entire life of Australian Idol as well as X-Factor.

O'Loughlin has also filmed live concerts for the production of DVDs for artists such as Neil Diamond and Pink.

Last week he shot the blind auditions for The Voice and is now preparing for the live shows, each with an audience of 1000 people.

He spends 15 hours a day working to produce each two-hour episode of The Voice with judges Delta Goodrem, Joel Madden, Seal and Ricky Martin.

"I stay up there [in Sydney] if I am doing long hours and long days in a row," O'Loughlin said.

"There is a lot of concentration involved. It is a $26 million production so everyone has to be on the top of their game. They are all really good people we use. I hand pick all the camera operators. There are about 200 people all up who work on the show."

O'Loughlin started his career as a 15-year-old at Channel 4 in 1974 before it became known as WIN 4.

"I didn't even have a driver's licence so dad used to have to drive me to work every day from Warilla," he said.

"I did a year in news and spent eight years there. I was lucky enough to do not only camera work but went on to be a director. I got to do everything.

"Back then we were doing film clips for festival records and people like John Farnham. It was really good training. My passion was to do studio production."

O'Loughlin was also interested in singing and dancing and in his 20s was picked up by a theatre production company in Melbourne and spent two years touring Australia in a show called They Are Playing Our Song with Jacki Weaver and John Waters."I went to California and got a job with NBC," he said.

"I did all sorts of things with NBC. I did the Today Show and I spent a year living on a boat doing the America's Cup in San Diego in 1994."

When he returned to Australia in the late 1990s NBC hired him again to direct and shoot their coverage of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

"That is when I won the Emmy," he said.

"It was for an outstanding technical team which included my direction."

O'Loughlin then met his wife who has an IT, nursing and tourism background.

He later went to UCLA as a director of photography before going freelance in Australia.

Now his focus is on planning the family's future with a photographic business specialising in weddings and family portraits.

"The reality is we want to be here and give Rose a great place to grow up," he said.

"She is going to be starting school here next year and I don't want to miss out on that. I want to spend as much time here as possible.

"I will still do the big shows. But I want to start a business where I can do quality work and have a lifestyle. Diane will run the business."

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