Dean O'Brien's Blog

Day 14: Working at the Coventry Telegraph 11/05/11

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After a week working in New York I return to the Coventry Telegraph this morning.  It’s quiet and gives me a chance to talk to Mark Radford and James Balfour about how the past week went.  I was away in New York whilst the Royal Wedding was on so I was curious as to how they coped with all the street parties that had to be covered for the paper.  I also get the chance to pass round the latest copy of Professional Photographer magazine and introduce them to the ‘Dench Diary’….


The first job comes in and I head out with James Balfour and reporter, Sandish Shoker.  Sandish is another person whom I have followed on Twitter for quite a long time now but had never actually met until today.  Sandish had just returned from a trip to South America where she had been for quite some time.  Being a keen traveller I want to know more and enroute to the job Sandish tells me more about it.

We arrive, and for this job we are to photograph an 89 year old darts player who has been playing darts at the Radford Social Club for 55 years.  We arrive at the club, but there is a hitch.  The lady is waiting outside for someone to arrive at the social club to let us in to take the images.  The ideal image probably being of her throwing a dart at the board….However, that person does not arrive and we cannot access the club, so we leave empty handed.  A wasted journey, but something that was out of all of our control.


I head out with photographer James Balfour to City College in Coventry.  We are here to photograph the Beauty Department.  Students are short on people to practice their practical skills, so an appeal in the paper might just do the trick.  James sets up a few shots of the students on a couch performing a task on a fellow student.  At at the end of all these shoots, names and ages are taken of those in the images.


I head out with photographer Joe Bailey to a house in the Cheylesmore area of the city where we meet Sam Dimmer.  We are here to take images of a mother appealing about the treatment of her son in a Portuguese prison.  As Sam interviews the subject Joe stays in the background shooting away.  He tells the subject to act normal and talk away as though he wasn’t there.  This works well and Joe gets what he needs to go with the article.

I managed to get a full two page spread in the paper on Monday.  Six images in total.  Its weird, but I’m still not used to seeing my images in print in an actual newspaper.  There is no byline, and I need to try and get this included with my images.  This is vital to me getting some exposure and getting my name out there.

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