FPA Member Profile

Joe Dent – Peterborough United
All Images © Joe Dent – Peterborough United

Career

Highlights

  • 2004 – 2008 Assistant Club Photographer at Peterborough United
  • 2007 – 2008 Work Experience with BackPage Images
  • 2008 – Club Photographer at Peterborough United
  • x10 Pre-Season Tours
  • x1 EFL Trophy Final Win
  • x1 Promotion via Play-Offs
  • Back to Back League Promotions
Q&A with Joe Dent

What came first, sport or photography?
“A little bit of both! My Nan worked as a photographer’s assistant and was my main carer growing up, so I was always around a camera. I was always a sporty kid and I was that one mate who always had a little disposable camera capturing friends and memories, but it wasn’t until my school teacher – who’s married to the chief sports reporter of our local paper – that suggested I looked at sports photography as a career.”

Who did you look up to when you were young, and who has helped you most with your development?
“I am forever grateful to Javier Garcia and Jed Leicester for taking me on work experience at BPI. I had already been taking pictures at Peterborough for a couple of seasons before, but meeting them opened my eyes to the bigger picture! I learnt so much being sent to edit other photographers work and understand the process along the way, it was a fantastic experience and I tried to take bits from each photographer I worked with to take into my own work!

“I always remember working alongside Matthew Ashton and Ben Radford, they always had such high standards and always felt I had to up my game when working for them!”

One change for the better to improve football photography for the next generation of photographers?
“The Football Photographers Association will be hugely beneficially for photographers and it will be great to see it grow. For young photographers to have access and guidance from some of the world’s best football photographer’s will be invaluable.”

Favourite football ground to work at and why?
“I love an old stadium with a bit of character, but after covering so many grounds in the lower leagues it was a real privilege to work at Wembley. I was lucky enough to work there a number of times thanks to BackPage Images as a wireman and then to go back there as Club Photographer to cover Peterborough’s EFL Trophy victory was very memorable!”

Do you have a favourite memory or anecdote from your time as a football photographer?
“By far my favourite moment was covering Peterborough’s 2011 Play-Off Final victory at Old Trafford. The whole weekend was filled with incredible picture opportunities. With Manager Darren Ferguson being the son of the great Sir Alex, on the Friday before the match the whole team were given a special tour of Old Trafford which included taking a team shot in the centre circle. On Saturday I photographed the team training at Manchester United’s Carrington base before covering the match (and hotel celebrations) on the Sunday followed by an open top bus ride through the city on the Monday!

“Meeting and photographing Mike Tyson was also a surreal moment when he surprising turned up to watch a Peterborough pre-season friendly against West Ham in 2010.”

Favourite footballer to work with and why?
“Ivan Toney for me. He has a very infectious personality and backs it up with his performances on the pitch. His first thought after scoring is normally where is the camera, which made for some brilliant pictures. A photographer’s dream on and off the pitch.”

Canon, Nikon or Sony?
“Always been Canon!”

First match photographed?
“November 2004 aged 17 – Peterborough United Reserves v Aldershot Town Reserves. I was studying photography at college and wrote to the club about getting some experience and it went from there!”

If you weren’t a photographer what would you be?
“Would say definitely something within the sporting industry in some capacity! Although whilst covering Peterborough Reserve team matches as a volunteer I did some part-time work at a local theatre on the stage crew, which was quite fun!”

Some advice for youngsters?
“Get outside and take pictures, sun, rain, snow… Whatever, just keep practicing!”

Biggest lesson learnt?
“Always pack your waterproofs!!”

Personal Social Media
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