FPA Member Profile

Nathan Stirk – Freelance
All Images © Nathan Stirk – Getty Images

Career

  • 2015 – BA Hons First Class Honours Degree in Photojournalism at Staffordshire University
  • 2016 – Getty Images stringer
Q&A with Nathan Stirk

What came first, sport or photography?
“Sport has played a profound role in my life from an early age, and the confidence gained through playing football has supported me through school. In my school years, I played football at a high level, having trials for Liverpool FC and Macclesfield Town FC. After an injury setback a teammate introduced me to photography, and this is where my passion for sport and photography developed.”

Who did you look up to when you were young, and who has helped you most with your development?
“While at Staffordshire University my course lecturer – Andrew Jukes – believed in my photography ability, which gave me the confidence to chase my dreams of becoming a sports photographer. Getty Images viewed my work while I was at university and believed I had potential and offered their support and guidance to help me develop within the industry.”

Favourite football ground to work at and why?
“My favourite football ground to work at is Goodison Park. It is a traditional ground which has character, not like most of the new stadiums built within shopping complexes. The fans provide a great atmosphere and the food is incredible.”

Do you have a favourite memory or anecdote from your time as a football photographer?
“It has to be in 2016, when Burnley got promoted to the Premier League. I was a season ticket holder, and at the last home game I predicted there was the possibility of a pitch invasion. I took my camera to the game hoping to capture Burnley making a return to the Premier League for my college assignments. Burnley reached promotion to the Premier League and I was able to capture the moment on my camera whilst blending in with the other photographers on the pitch. This was the moment where I realised I had the passion and excitement for being a sports photographer.”

Favourite footballer to work with and why?
“I don’t have a favourite player, but I enjoy working with Everton Football Club as they are a very professional run and friendly club.”

Canon, Nikon or Sony?
“Nikon.”

First match photographed?
“Congleton Town, my local non-league football team.”

If you weren’t a photographer what would you be?
“Something practical such as a farmer or builder.”

Some advice for youngsters?
“When I said I wanted to be a professional sports photographer, a lot people doubted that I could do it full time. If you work hard and show that you want to learn, doors will eventually open. Always keep researching photographs and looking at ways to see how you can apply and adapt them to your work. You never stop learning and don’t be afraid to ask for advice!!”

Biggest lesson learnt?
“Always think about the background and where the best light is to shoot. Also make sure you look after your camera equipment as its very expensive to get replaced and repaired.”

Personal Social Media
FPA225

© Copyright 2021 Football Photographers Association