FPA Member Profile

Simon Bellis – Sportimage
All Images © Simon Bellis / Sportimage

Career

Highlights

  • 1st year of Degree course at Leeds (Left after 1 year)
  • 1985 – 1990 Staff Photographer Messenger newspaper group
  • 1990 – 1993 Staff Photographer Raymonds Press Agency
  • 1994 – 2002 Picture Editor
  • 2002 -2004 Freelance for Sunday Times/Reuters
  • 2004 Sportimage
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Q&A with Simon Bellis

Canon, Nikon or Sony?
“Canon most of my career, with two spells using Nikon. Nikon has the sharpest lens, Canon the better colour.”

What came first, sport or photography?
“Sport! I played Rugby Union through my early years and was destined to play outside centre for Wales, at least in my own mind I was! I think I played one decent 45 minutes at amateur level in football. I enjoyed sport, but as you can read not to a serious level, life got in the way.”

Do you have a favourite memory or anecdote from your time as a football photographer? 
“First time I worked at PSV Eindhoven was amazing; great lights, great comms, fantastic people.

I always love doing a foreign trip. It’s great to travel with and have a good craic with some of the world’s leading football photographers.”

First football match photographed?
“A Wrexham home game around 1979.”

Best footballer to work with?
“I’ve been lucky in my days working for the Sunday Times having access to many footballers. They have all been generous with their time, even if it was a small amount.

Former Liverpool player Avi Cohen and his son Tamir produced a good set of images, David Beckham is as down to earth as the next man.”

Favourite football ground to work at, and why?
“As I’m the club photographer at Sheffield United, I would have to say Bramall Lane. However, The Racecourse Ground at Wrexham holds a special place in my heart, and the best foreign ground has to be PSV Eindhoven. I always looked forward to visiting the stadium and the people.”

Biggest Lesson Learnt in the business?
“Hard graft pays dividends. Also, try and be nice and kind to people.”

Company Social Media
FPA225

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