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1959-1960 ... My first job was a junior in the Art Department (old-fashioned 'Times-speak' for picture desk!) of The Times. This was of course the original family owned paper (Lord Astor of Hever) and located at Printing House Square, London. I desperately wanted to be a photographer and whilst working at The Times I asked about the possibilities. Keith Smith, who was an assistant on the picture desk, told me 'You have two chances, Markeson - a dog's chance and no chance!' Some years later he became picture editor and then, when Rupert Murdoch took over the paper, he was moved to an admin. job. Our paths crossed again when I joined the staff in Wapping - I never did remind him of what he had said to me all those years ago!

1960-1961 ... Assistant to show-biz photographer Dezo Hoffman. He shared a studio in Gerrard Street, Soho, London, with The New Record Mirror, and had a contract to work for them as well as producing record covers and publicity pictures for the major record companies - EMI, Phillips, etc.

This was real 'heady stuff'. The '60's were launching themseves on an unsuspecting public and nobody knew just what impact it would have. Rock and pop music of course was to be one of the biggest influences of the genre. I was given the opportunity to photograph some great 'legends' ... Lonny Donegan, Tommy Steele, Cliff Richards, and, of course, The Stones and the Beatles.

Working for Dezo Hoffman seemed to launch me into a world of personalities that was to continue throughout my career. Of course, that was show business, but subsequent years on National newspapers meant the opportunity to meet and photograph everyone from Page Three models to world leaders!

My years on The Times were probably the most privileged as the papers' name still carried an enormous influence around the world. From Presidents and Prime Ministers, to 'Captains of Industry' - I was fortunate to both interview and photograph them all.

1961-1962 ... News photography, though, was always my ambition and I took a job with The Hertfordshire Mercury. It was good experience,but I didn't stay long - football matches, weddings, and Whist Drives were not my idea of fun!

The end of 1962... found me working as a photographer for Louis Garnade, who ran an agency in Cambridge. Great experience, and my first opportunity to try my hand at 16mm newsreel for television. Cambridge was a milestone really, it made me really focus on my ambitions ...


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