FPA Member Profile

George Wood – Associate Member
All Images © George Wood
Q&A with George Wood

What came first, sport or photography?
“Sport. Football was always part of the weekend since I was very young. I would either be playing with my friends for my local team or going down to Bradford City with my family for many years as a season ticket holder.”

First match photographed?
“My first match was Eccleshill United vs. Garforth Town, and the score ended up 4-5 to Garforth. What an introduction to football photography!”

Favourite ground and why?
“I feel privileged to have worked at some of the top stadiums in the UK including Wembley, The Etihad, Old Trafford, Celtic Park and Anfield. All of these grounds were brilliant to me, but I would love to work at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, which has had five star reviews from every photographer that I know has worked there.”

Canon, Nikon or Sony?
“Nikon and Canon. I was recently building up my Nikon cameras and lenses – including owning two D5 cameras with two lenses – however Jakki Moores from Canon has helped massively by loaning me Canon kit, which was an opportunity I could not turn down and one I really appreciate.”

Favourite match or football related event photographed?
“There are so many memories and opportunities that I am grateful for so far in my career. One of my favourite games to work at was Arsene Wenger’s final game in charge of Arsenal against Huddersfield Town. It was brilliant to be a part of such a historic occasion, where the atmosphere was unreal, as well as working next to some of the best sports photographers in the industry.”

Biggest lesson learnt?
“I am thankful I have been put in so many situations where I have been able to learn from my mistakes. I have learnt to protect my gear from the rain. The worst feeling is turning up to a game when both your cameras either don’t turn on or are steamed up because you hadn’t dried them out from the previous game. Yes, these are mistakes I will never be making again!”

Which photo included in your FPA gallery are you proudest of, and why?
“I think it’s hard to pick one picture I am most proud of because I like all of my selected pictures in different ways. If I was to pick one, it would be the Luke Ayling goal picture against Huddersfield, as it was such an important goal in the Leeds United promotion season. The response the image got from the Leeds United fans and other photographers was very inspiring.”

Any funny or interesting experiences photographing football at any level?
“One of my most interesting experiences was at my first match working for Huddersfield Town where John Early (the Huddersfield club photographer) and I ended up in the Chelsea dressing room. I was a bit overwhelmed by shooting at a Premier League game anyway, but then walking into a room with some of the world’s best players was something I never saw coming and a moment I will never forget.”

How did you feel just before you photographed your first match professionally?
“The first event I photographed for Getty Images was at Bramall Lane for Sheffield United against Swansea City. I was excited to shoot at a different stadium which enabled me to use my photographic eye and inspiration to create something different, giving me an opportunity to add pictures to my portfolio. However, I don’t feel this was my first time shooting professionally, as I didn’t fully understand the purpose to what I was photographing and had never had a workflow that involved editing and sending pictures quickly during an event. I am grateful that everyone at Getty Images has given me time to experiment and develop my knowledge, to now be able to work professionally and have much more of an understanding.”

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