How did you get where you are?
I worked for an evening paper and for an agency after I finished college, and then I freelanced for seven years. My big break was in 1986, when I took a photograph of Ian Brady on the moor. I was offered a job in 1990 during the Strangeways riots and that’s when I got the staff job at Trinity Mirror.
What are your main tasks?
My everyday tasks are a matter of keeping up-to-date with what’s going on and coming up.
What are the most important things you need to know to do your job?
Technical skills are important, but digital cameras are pretty easy for anybody to use these days. Knowing people and being interested in people is far more important.
How important are contacts and how do you look after them?
They are important, and they need to be nurtured. I suppose it’s a hunch and a guess as to how to look after them.
What’s the key to success in your area?
There isn’t really one thing – it’s a matter of persistence and dedication when it comes down to it. On individual jobs, I sometimes have to wait around for ages for something to happen, and sometimes nothing does happen. Remembering key events from previous years is important so you can plan for them and know what’s coming up.
What’s the best and worst part of the job?
I like the sociability and the variety – the job gives you lots of colleagues. I don’t like all the busybodies and killjoys. I hate the characterisation of a photographer as getting in people’s faces – we’re always seen in a negative light, but we do good things too.