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A Day in the Life of a Professional Photographer

The prince Naseem Case - By Gary Bagshawe

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Presented by Pixalo

Some of you who are reading this may recall the Prince Naseem Car Crash pictures and the ensuing court case that followed; below I have written my involvement of the case as a freelance photographer.

May bank holiday 2005, World snooker final is on at the Crucible (didn't manage to get a press pass...again) so the Mrs had me working in the garden rebuilding the dry stone wall, oh joy!!!

Half way through this enviable task I heard a lot of sirens, and I mean loads. Having chased many a blue flashing light I could tell that there were fire engines, police cars and Ambulances, I looked towards the Mrs and said "that sounds nasty and continued my joyous task of rebuilding the wall, about 5 minutes later I heard more sirens! Then I saw the air ambulance fly overhead. I looked pleadingly towards my better half..

She stood there and after what seemed an eternity she said "the things you do to get out of gardening, go on then!!". Not needing a second invitation I ran to the house grabbed my camera bag and was off.

About a mile away in the direction of all the noise I was driving up Ringinglow Road, which was closed off by police cars parked at right angles to the road, I could see in the distance the flashing lights and so parked my car grabbed my cameras and set off on foot. Walking past the police man I enquired as to what had happened, his reply was a typical "RTA son sorry can't give you any more than that"

Walking further up the road towards the scene I could tell it was a bad one simply by the amount of emergency services at scene, I thought that maybe it would make page 2 or 3 of the local rag, and set about taking photographs.

Photo 1  Photo 2

The scene was one of total carnage, emergency services were cutting somebody out of a VW Golf and the road was strewn with debris, I could hear the injured man in the car screaming in pain. I continued shooting and moved further up the road towards a very badly damaged Mercedes. After kneeling down in front of the car and taking the first shot I noticed the number plate "NAS !", Hmm I thought Christmas has just come early. I continued shooting and noticed that I was the only photographer present and so then I legged it back to the car and drove the mile or so home, Whilst processing the photographs I was on the phone to The Sun and The Sport, They told me to e-mail them the pics but were not sure they would be of any use, ( the story hadn't broke on the news wire yet) So I did as I was told and also sent them to the Daily Star. Within minutes the phone would not stop ringing, The Sun were asking for picture exclusive rights and asking if I had anymore, I had the Picture editor on the phone from The Daily Mail Asking if they could have them as well.

Photo 3

After the initial large amount of interest I decided to open up the freelance photographer's handbook (BIBLE) and phone round a couple of other papers. I didn't get much response but thought, never mind I will have made something from it. None of the picture editors could give me a price as there boss wasn't at work as it was a bank holiday!!!!!

Photo 4

After sending off the pics I managed to check out sky news and saw that the story had become quite a big one, So off I went to the pub, about 10.30 that evening I got a call from the picture editor of The Times asking if they could use it too, Well I was over the moon as id never had a picture in the times in all the years I had been taking photographs. "Well yes I replied but I'm not currently in a position to send it to you", "That's fine he replied we will get it off The Sun.

The following morning I had a wander down to the newsagents to buy a couple of papers to see who and how it had been used. Well you can imagine my surprise to my photographs plastered all over the front pages, including The Mirror who I hadn't even sent it too. I hurried home and started calling round the picture desks explaining that the pics were mine and how much was I going to be paid. Most were in the 600-700 mark apart from The Mirror who offered me 1500.00 for the 1 front page shot. In total to start with I think I made around 7000.00 - 8000.00 from the day after re runs. Now the images are classed as library pics and I get paid around 60.00 every time they are used. Nuts magazine and Top Gear also contacted me to use the images for articles such as "I'm a Celebrity, Cut me out of here"

I followed the case through the court hearings etc without much joy of new good images. I did make a few extra quid from my first images been used again though so all was not lost.

Come the day of sentencing I arrived at the Crown Court in Sheffield to a full on media circus, the only thing missing was a tea and coffee vendor.After waiting around for about an hour Mr Hamed and entourage turned up, Chaos.. Everybody was scrabbling to get a shot, the TV cameras were getting in the way and I ended up with a slightly blurry picture of the back of his head, Bollocks!!!

I stood around for a while chatting to some of the other boys and taking in the sunshine. There were a couple of boys from PA and another from Reuters. After about 3 hours we got news he had been sent down for 15 months, so he wouldn't be making an appearance again but his wife Eleasha would, along with about 4 body guards. Hmm I thought, I'm getting a bit old for all this pushing and shoving lark and so took up position bang opposite the exit which is separated by a wall. The area in front of the court is off limits to the press so I would have a clear shot of her coming out from behind the small wall.

When she did come out I managed to get a clear shot, along with about 20 other photographers who got the same shot. Then all hell broke out, the body guards were pushing and punching people and the whole throng moved to my left all trying to get in front of Eleasha to get a better shot. I looked to my left away from the crowd and saw a very expensive car with it's door open. I was the only person to see this, so I legged it to the roadside knowing that she would be getting in the other side leaving nothing between her and her guards and me but the roof of the car.

Photo 5

Click, and THANK YOU. Despite the gorillas screaming at me to put that ****ing camera down I managed to get a few good shots off that nobody else had. And what were they gong to do anyway; beat me up in front of the Worlds Press?

The following day I had a look at the papers and I think 4 of them used mine instead of the photographers who they had commissioned. Another 500.00 to 600.00 for that one.

I am just waiting for his release now to see what I can get on that one.

Article written by Gary Bagshawe

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