FPA Member Profile

Dave Shopland – Freelance
All Images © Dave Shopland



  • Press Association Darkroom. 1970-1975
  • Commercial Colour Darkroom Printer 1975-1977
  • Associated Press Darkroom Printer /Freelance Photographer 1977- 1986
  • Daily Telegraph/Sunday Telegraph Freelance. 1986-1992
  • Daily Mail /Mail On Sunday Contract Freelance Contributor 1992-2015
  • Evening Standard Freelance Contributor 2000-2018
  • The Independent Freelance Contributor 2018–
  • BPI/Shutterstock Contract Freelance. 2015 –
  • FIFA World Cups (7)

  • UEFA Euro Championships (6)

  • FA Cup Finals (6)

  • UEFA Champions League Finals (12)

  • FIFA Women’s World Cup (1)

Q&A with Dave Shopland

What came first, sport or photography?
Sport, especially football. My Dad took me to Fulham and Chelsea alternate weeks as a young boy and I chose Chelsea as my team. I started taking an interest in photography early in my teenage years.

My best friend’s Father was a top football sports writer who travelled the world covering Internationals and World Cups and I decided I wanted to do the same, only with a camera.

What was your career path?
I learned my trade in the darkroom printing the work of top sports photographers of the time. I started initially in Black and White and later progressed to Colour. I got my big break in 1986 as a sports photographer when I was asked to cover the World Cup in Mexico replacing a PA photographer who was injured and unable to travel.

On my return I started to pick up freelance assignments and eventually I was offered a position working for the Daily Telegraph which was followed by a job with the Daily Mail.

I have continued to work for newspapers for the duration of my career until recently and I now work for the News and Sports agency Shutterstock and also online newspaper, The Independent.

What Photographers have you looked up to Past and Present?
Chris Smith of The Sunday Times and Dave Caulkin of Associated Press in my early years and in the present day too many to mention but Bob Martin, Clive Mason and Clive Brunskill for me stand out as being top of their trade.

Do you have a favourite memory as a football photographer?
Seeing and shooting my team Chelsea winning The Champions League in Munich 2012 and also the thrill of covering my first World Cup as a Photographer in Mexico 1986, where I was able to capture Maradona at his brilliant best.

Favourite football ground to work at and why?
Emirates Stadium and White Hart Lane Stadium, as the facilities are superb and the backgrounds are clean.

Best advice for youngsters
Try and single out top football photographers who you admire and study their work very closely so as to learn how a good image is structured. Also vary your lens choice as much as possible so as to obtain different looking pictures.

Canon, Nikon or Sony?

Favourite footballer to work with, and why?
Sir Bobby Robson. I did several one on one features with him as he had a column in the Mail On Sunday. He was fantastic, one of the nicest and most respected people in the history of football and very sadly missed.

If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be?
No Idea as it’s the best job in the world.


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