FPA Member Profile

David Davies – PA Sport
All Images © David Davies / Sportsphoto / Offside / PA Sport

Career

Highlights

  • BTEC National Diploma in Photography Hereford Art College
  • 1989 – 1991 Action Plus
  • 1991 – 1995 Welloffside
  • 1995 – 1997 Professional Sport
  • 1997 – 1999 Sportsphoto
  • 1999 – 2000 Action Images
  • 2001 – Chief Sports Photographer at The Press Association
  • UEFA Euro Champs (1)
  • FA Cup Finals (7)
  • FIFA Confederations Cup (1)
  • UEFA Champions League Finals (1)
Q&A with David Davies

Canon, Nikon or Sony?
“I’ve used Canon exclusively my whole career, from an F1 (that buzzed when you pressed the button in the cold) right up to the new EOS 1DX’s. I’ve primarily use a 400mm lens for action – unless I’m doing some feature project, but covering a game with a just a 70-200mm and a 16-35mm is something I really enjoy.”

What came first, sport or photography?
“Sport. I didn’t make it big on the cricket scene, or make it into the first team of Newcastle United, and I couldn’t draw, so photography was the obvious choice.”

Do you have a favourite memory or anecdote from your time as a football photographer?
“Being in the wire room at Leeds when Kevin Keegan – the manager of Newcastle United – did his ‘I will love it’ post match rant interview after their match in 1996 was funny. The silence that fell over the press room, and then at the end everyone looking at each other in amazement before newspaper photographer Bradley Ormesher said ‘anyone got a Keegan picture?’ and the place fell about laughing.

I’m old enough to go back to the days of shooting film, and one thing I loved was the anticipation of seeing if I had captured a nice image or not as it was developed with chemicals after a match. There was none of this instant view you get with digital cameras, and if you thought you had a great football image you had to wait and pray that it was sharp. I actually miss that!

Most recent memory for me is training my son Jack to wire for me and having him on the touchline next to me sending my pictures, and sharing my work experiences with him. This was a special time.”

If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be?  
“No idea really . I’ve had this ambition since I was at sixth form, and have only followed that path through art college and into work, so I had never considered anything else. However, after two months of lock down I think I’d make a pretty good painter and decorator, or perhaps a gardener!”

First football match photographed?
“Worcester City, for the Worcester Source newspaper 1988 while at college, then in 1989 Watford v Leicester City for Action Plus.”

Favourite footballer to work with? 
“Jamie Redknapp. Louise, (that’s my wife Louise) was about nine months pregnant with Jack, and I had to do a job with him when I got a call that she was going to be taken in to hospital to have him the next day. The Match of the Day cameras were there to interview Redknapp too, and were very insistent they wanted to do their filming first, but Jamie stood my corner. He told them he was going to do what I needed first, and then did everything I needed without question before wishing me all the best as I left.”

Favourite football ground to work at, and why? 
“Arsenal – both Highbury and the Emirates. Highbury, because I love a bit of history to a football ground, and I did a lot of my training in the early days there, and it was my local ground when I moved to London. I loved having such a big club as my ‘local ground’, as we didn’t have that growing up in Worcester!

Then the modern Emirates is everything you want to work at. Space to work in, good lights and nice backgrounds. We could have more variety in positions, but that is the same with all Premier League stadiums. Although I’ve not been to the new Tottenham Stadium yet.”

Biggest lesson learnt in the business? 
“Treat people with the respect you would wish people to treat you.”

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