Dennis Stephens, who has died aged 78, was in great demand by all
the nationals as a freelance photographer who knew his South Wales
patch inside out.
Invariably he was aware of breaking stories
long before Fleet Street picture desks and often had the photos in the
bag before they rang him.
He went about his work without drama or
fuss but with a quiet efficiency which enabled him to build up a
His passion for photography began
when he did his army service as a cartographer, and he joined the
Western Mail before moving to the Daily Herald.
He covered many
of the big stories of the day including the Lynmouth floods disaster in
1952 which claimed 34 lives in the West Country seaside town.
Dennis left the Herald when it was transformed into the IPC Sun and forged an enviable reputation when he went freelance.
covered news and sport for the nationals and was a familiar figure
patrolling the touchline in all weathers at Wales rugby internationals
at the old Cardiff Arms Park.
In addition to stills photography
Dennis also turned his hand to TV news and features and was a valued
member of the HTV operation in Cardiff.
Ex-Daily Mail staffer
Dave Lewis recalls: “Dennis knew the business like the back of his hand
and was highly regarded by Fleet Street picture editors.
a story broke I would ring Dennis who was already ahead of the game,
quite often with the picture in the bag. He was one of the original
breed of photo journalists who was equally at home with a stills or TV
“He was an absolute gentleman and a pleasure to deal with.”