Mark Pain From Jessops to jet-setting sports photographer
“I faced a decision to at the age of 19: whether to go to university to read English or college to do a degree in photography. In the end I did neither. I converted my Saturday job at Jessops in Kingston into a full-time one. As a budding sports photographer I needed to acquire quite a lot of equipment and as a member of staff you could buy second-hand equipment that customers had part-exchanged at a good price.
“I worked at the shop for two years. I spent every spare moment shooting sports events and was eventually able to put together a portfolio, which I took around all the Fleet Street picture editors. I was asked to shoot some football matches for various newspapers and ended up working mostly for the Daily
Mirror and the Mailon-Sunday. “The football matches back then were all on Saturdays which clashed with the biggest sales day in the shop. Something had to go. I risked everything and left the shop as soon as the Saturday games became a more regular thing. It was a tough decision but one I’ve never regretted.”