Steve Riding

"Newspapers will always need skilled trained photographers."

Steve is a staff photographer for the Yorkshire Evening Post.

My life in journalism started in 1969 on a two-week work experience placement with the Yorkshire Evening Post.

I knew there and then that I wanted to be a photographer. The sight and smell of the papers rolling off the presses just turned my head.

One year as office junior led to two years printing the photographs and going out with photographers in my spare time. I also studied a City and Guilds course at Leeds Polytechnic.

In 1972 I was offered a position as photographer with the Yorkshire Evening Post, where I have worked for 45 years.

I attended two eight-week courses specifically for photographers in Wednesbury in the Midlands as part of my NCTJ training in the mid-70s, which is something I remember with fondness having made friends for life with fellow photographers and armed with the knowledge of real training at an early stage in my career.

I became chief photographer of the Yorkshire Evening Post in 1985 and have spent time on the picture desk but being on the road is what I prefer.

Leeds born and bred and fortunate to live in God's Own County of Yorkshire, why would anyone move away? My thoughts were echoed perfectly by the spectacular Tour de France race in Yorkshire in 2014, when images of its stunning scenery were beamed around the world.

During my time at the Yorkshire Evening Post and Yorkshire Post I have covered the Yorkshire Ripper and was at the press conference when he was caught. 

Other memorable events I have covered include the Birmingham bombing, King's Cross Fire, Kegworth plane crash, the Pope’s visit and various Royal visits.

I also photographed many bands in Leeds including: The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Paul McCartney, the Sex Pistols, Rod Stewart, Status Quo, Roxy Music, Mark Knoffler and Thin Lizzy.

Sport is what I love best and have covered the Don Revie Leeds United team of the 70s, Cup finals at Wembley, travelled Europe with Leeds United and attended  Rugby League grand finals at Old Trafford. There cannot be any better place to be than being in the dressing room with the winning team.

I had a full page picture of Geoff Boycott's 100th century at Headingley - a picture he later used in his book.

I took great pride in winning the Press Gazette daily sports photographer of the year in UK and Ireland - after being runner-up twice before.

The work of a photographer is constantly changing: from developing and printing hard copies, to digital, to shooting video for our internet site, not to mention the quick turnaround on social media and regular newspaper deadlines.

I have been very fortunate to have a full career in journalism and been to places money can't buy or, as my friend said, I can get where water can't get.

We have a fantastic award-winning photographic team at the Yorkshire Post all working together. Every one of us has been trained on a NCTJ course and I am convinced the fact we have all been taught the right way from the beginning is a big help.

Whilst we live in this mad world of Twitter, Facebook and the internet- newspapers will always be with us. Just take out your newspaper cuttings to see the memories they bring back.

Newspapers will always need skilled trained photographers.

If you are interested in studying an NCTJ accredited photography course, please contact Sheffield College.

October 2014