Photographer - Paul Haley - part 1 of 1 2 3

Published 01/10/2001


Thirty-five years in professional photography and where has it got me. When Phil first asked me to write a few words for the society magazine my immediate reaction was - why me, I haven't got anything exciting to tell fellow photographers. I then added up the years and the total was a complete surprise.

Surely it can't be THIRTY-FIVE YEARS.

I started taking photographs on my first birthday. Apparently I just picked up my Dad's camera and took a picture of my Mum. He was a keen amateur who eventually started doing the occasional wedding for friends and I, at about 13 or 14 started attending the growing number of weddings with him using a second body (MPP Microcord 2 ¼ sq.) for candid shots.


I got an apprenticeship in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire in 1966 with a great portrait photographer call F D Montgomery. The main thing he taught me about taking children was "that if they keep jumping off the stool - it's not high enough!" He had a range of stools of different heights and he used to change them until the child was too frightened to jump down - just sat there looking in amazement at the photographer who just had to get the right expression. The parents were not allowed in the camera room and many children fell off the seats, banging their heads on the hard studio floor - imagine, in these days of liability and claims, daring to do that.

When Montgomery retired I went to work for A H Leach in Brighouse, completing my day release City & Guilds course in Leeds, and after three years of colour printing and assessing I moved south to work for the Ministry of Defence, first as a basic grade photographer on Salisbury Plain and after three years gaining promotion to Senior Photographer on Soldier Magazine, the magazine for the British Army.

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1st Published 01/10/2001
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