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1986-1994 ... The Times was a wonderful opportunity for me to excercise my skills. By this time Rupert Murdoch had broken the back of the Trade Unions, and the Wapping plant was in full swing. No 'closed-shop' meant freedom, not only to take photographs, but also to write, something I had always wanted to do but had never been allowed to, due to restrictive practices.


Becoming more self-generating, I was able to photograph and write a regular weekly column entitled Off-Duty. Here I would invite well-known people to be my Off-Duty candidate of the week. They could be from anywhere, from the worlds of politics, show-business, banking or wherever, just as long as they were a household name and there was some sort of a news 'peg'. The idea was to show the 'real' person behind the public image - informal photographs at home and amusing anecdotal stories. It was a very successful feature, and ran for over two years.



With The Times, I travelled the globe covering anything and everything ... from The Americas Cup and Peter De Savory in hiding in Holland, to buried treasure in Iraq. For one story I travelled right around the World to write about and photograph the hostages who had been in the news and were now spending a first Christmas at home with their families.

In October 1990, I was awarded the highest distinction in photography - a Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society (FRPS). Actually it was a great honour, as I was given a double Fellowship - one for Portraiture and another for Visual Journalism.

I was fullfilling my dream - to be a true photo-journalist. At some personal cost, though: My wife told me she had totalled up all the time I had been abroad in one particular year - a day here, a week or a month there - it amounted to eight months!

With a young family, she was pleased that, in 1994, I left The Times and with it the newspaper industry that had been my livelihood for 35 years. Together she and I made a new start and set up the freelance commercial photography partnership that we run today.


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