FPA Member Profile

Ian Robinson – Preston North End FC
All Images © Ian Robinson – Preston North End FC

Career

Highlights

  • 1982 – 1985 BTEC National Diploma/HNC/A-level in Photography & Editorial Design at Wigan College of Technology
  • 1990 – 2015. Senior Photographer Johnston Press (Lancashire Evening Post & Chorley Guardian
  • 2016 – 2018. Freelance Preston North End FC
  • 2018 – Club Photographer Preston North End FC
  • UEFA Women’s Euro Champs (1)
  • Championship Play-Off Finals (1)
  • FA Cup Semi Finals (1)
  • FA Vase Finals (1)
  • FA Trophy Final (1)
  • EFL Matches (over 500)
  • England Matches (3)
Q&A with Ian Robinson

What came first, sport or photography?
“Sport. I have always been a football fan and followed Everton around the country when I was in my early teens. I remember, watching from the terraces, the photographers setting up behind the goal for an FA Cup semi-final at Villa Park and I thought that has to be the best job ever!”

Who did you look up to when you were young, and who has helped you most with your development?
“I lived in the same village as John Cocks who helped me when I first started out. I’ve always looked at sports photography books, Allsports Visions of series etc, (it was the time before websites) and I would try to get as many ideas as I could and see if I could adapt them in my work.”

One change for the better to improve football photography for the next generation of photographers?
“Being a club photographer I’m privileged to get great access. It would be good if that freedom to work unhindered applied to more.”

Favourite football ground to work at and why?
“Goodison Park (Theatre of Beams) a proper ground. I’ve only worked there a handful of times but it’s my team and I love the atmosphere and the backdrop of the Howard Kendall Gwladys Street End and Bullens Road stands when they are full.”

Do you have a favourite memory or anecdote from your time as a football photographer?
“It was during the time Wembley was being redeveloped and England were playing at different stadiums around the country, during the England v Uruguay game the ball is rocketing towards the photographers behind the goal and without hesitation the photographer next to me stands up, still holding all of his kit, and heads the ball straight back onto the pitch, sits back down as if nothing had happened.”

Favourite footballer to work with and why?
“Sir Tom Finney a true gentleman and legend he was always helpful and friendly. I’ve also found the current players at PNE to be a good bunch of lads even if they don’t always remember to run towards me when they celebrate.”

Canon, Nikon or Sony?
“Nikon. Started with FM2 shooting black and white and now use Nikon D5.”

First match photographed?
“It’s that long ago I think it could have been when I was at college possibly a FA Vase final in the mid 80’s or a league game at Wigan’s Athletics Springfield Park.”

If you weren’t a photographer what would you be?
“Warm and dry.”

Some advice for youngsters
“Take time to get to know the photographers you meet, research ideas, be prepared to take risks but learn from any mistakes.”

Biggest lesson learnt?
“Don’t park in the chairman’s parking space, remember your waterproof as it’s not all sunshine up north.”

Personal Social Media
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