FPA Member Profile

Alex Livesey – Danehouse
All Images © Alex Livesey / Allsport / Getty Images / Danehouse

Career

Highlights

  • 1988 – 1990 HND photography course at Stockport College
  • 1990 – 1992 Degree in documentary photography at Newport College of Art studying under Magnum photographer David Hurd
  • 1992 – 1997 Working with Tommy Hindley
  • 1997 – 2016 Allsport/Getty Images
  • 2016 – Danehouse
  • FIFA World Cups (5)
  • UEFA Euro Champs (5)
  • FA Cup Finals (9)
  • UEFA Champions League Finals (14)
  • Premier League matches (Every PL season since its inception in 1992)
Q&A with Alex Livesey

Canon, Nikon or Sony?
“Canon”

What came first, sport or photography?
“Sport. I went to my first Man City match aged six, always wanted to be a footballer and had trials at various clubs, but it was never going to happen. Then at school I had an amazing art teacher who found the money to build a darkroom in the art department where he taught off curriculum photography. Photography and sport came together then.“

Who did you look up to when you were young and who has helped you most during your development?
“Neil McAllister – my art teacher at school – started me on the road. When I was at college I wanted to be a newspaper photographer, like Chris Smith and Eamonn McCabe – particularly Chris Smith. He was the first high profile photographer I met and was a lovely person. Tommy Hindley gave me my first break, then later, Getty Images were massively supportive.”

Do you have a favourite memory or anecdote from your time as a football photographer?
“This is all about great football come-backs. I was at the Nou Camp Stadium in 1999 for Manchester United’s famous Champions League win against Bayern Munich, the AC Milan vs. Liverpool final in 2005 and the 2012 Manchester City vs. QPR Premier League match when City secured the title at the death. These three stand out as some of the biggest turn-arounds in English football.”

Favourite footballer to work with, and why?
“Unfortunately, as a Manchester City fan, my favourite players to work with are all Utd players. Beckham and Ronaldo were massively professional, but the nicest guy was Ryan Giggs, who would always remember me and say hello. The same with Rio Ferdinand.

Ronaldo remembered me when holding the Champions League trophy in Moscow in 2008 and made a point of looking straight at me and waving, which in those chaotic situations is very useful.”

If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be?
“If everything came to an end now, my perfect job would be running a lovely boutique hotel, in a lovely part of the world, on a beach, somewhere remote.”

First football match photographed?
“Not sure, but it would be a Stockport County match when I was at Stockport College, during the 1988-89 season.”

Favourite football ground to work at, and why?
“Manchester City for the backgrounds, Everton for the atmosphere – particularly in the old days. But I would have to say the Etihad. Nice backgrounds, a hassle free working environment and of course Roses’s Tea Room!”

Biggest Lesson Learnt?
“Don’t take things for granted, as things can change just like that. Like running a business, then Covid comes along. Also, and I hate to use this, but you are only as good as your last photo. It’s great to get a really good picture, but you have to keep going, and you can’t just live off that photo. You have to be able to keep doing it day in and day out.

Another lesson for me and one that has kept me going is to work hard. It sounds obvious, but whilst certain people are very talented, and others got big breaks, I found the best thing for me was working hard.”

Personal Social Media
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