Welcome to Industry Insider by Behind Sport. Our latest guest is the Club Photographer, Programme Editor and Videographer at Peterborough United, Joe Dent!
Tell us about yourself, what is your current role and what roles have you done previously?
Hi, I’m Joe Dent and I am the Official Club Photographer at Peterborough United Football Club. My first game with the club was way back in November 2004, so I’m now coming up to 16 years at The Posh. Other roles at the Football Club include Programme Editor and Videographer.
What do you do in your current role?
My current job title is Club Photographer, Programme Editor and Videographer!
As Club Photographer, my main responsibilities are to cover all home and away first team matches, and I also cover reserve team and youth team fixtures, when my time allows, as well as covering training, commercial activities, community events and anything else that might come up involving the Football Club.
As Programme Editor, I work closely with our Press Officer, Phil Adlam, in producing content for our official match day programme and as a Videographer, I film and edit pre and post-match interviews with the Manager and players.
What does a normal week look like for you?
Anyone who works in football would say that your day can change in a flash, no matter how planned and organised your day/week ahead is!
On a match day week for example, leading up to a home game, it would be something along the lines of:
Monday: Finish off any outstanding image processing from the game on the Saturday, for example captioning and uploading of any stock-type images and print off and send out the mascot images from the previous game. If there is a mid-week game I try and have this done over the weekend!
Tuesday: We would have already made good progress with the match day programme and would be continuing with chasing content and liasing with our designers. We’d also possibly head down to the training ground to film an interview with a player as we start to preview the next game.
Wednesday: Our last day for getting content together for the match programme, so chasing down any outstanding bits of content and proofing the designs.
Thursday: We’ll have one final comb over the programme proofs before giving the sign off. It’s then a quick dash over to the training ground for the pre-match press conference with the Manager and a player. Thursday’s is also our designated day for any player appearances so I would go with the player and our Commercial Executive to the sponsor or event, which would include a publicity photo shoot, before heading back to upload the video interviews to the website.
Friday: We start with a pre-match staff meeting where all departments go through any planned activity or concerns for the match ahead. I’ll source some archive images to help our Marketing Manager, Jake Baxter, in promoting the match and then it’s just a case of prepping for the match day and being organised!
How did you end up where you are right now? When did you know you wanted to work in sport?
To be honest, I have always wanted to work within the football industry since I was in my final year at secondary school. I’d always dreamt of being a professional footballer, but the realisation of that not happening sunk it pretty quick (I’ve never been the most gifted of footballers, as many would testify!)
At school I was always the one taking pictures of mates with my little disposable camera, mainly because I much prefer to be behind a camera rather than in front of it! It was my teacher at school who suggested I looked into sports photography, I started a two-year photography course at college and during my second year I emailed Steve Brewer, who was the Club Photographer at Posh at the time, asking if I could come along and take some action shots at a reserve match, which he kindly allowed.
After covering a few more reserve games, I was lucky enough to be invited back to cover the first team home games the following season on a voluntary basis. A few seasons later I earned a part-time job within the media department and in 2008, following the arrival of Chairman Darrgah MacAnthony I was offered a full-time role and I’m delighted to still be going now.
What are you excited about in your industry at the moment?
For sure the most exciting thing at the moment is looking ahead to the new season, even though we don’t know when exactly that may be, it’s something to look forward to. During the season, nothing beats the buzz of a match day and whether you win, lose or draw, after the match there is always the next game to look forward too.
I’ve also been working on a personal project during this lockdown, which I’m excited about and then, when normality does eventually resume and football can continue in a safe environment I’ll certainly be chomping at the bit to get back to it!
What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to work in the sports industry?
I would say try and gain as much experience as you possibly can and try and make lots of contacts with professionals who have been in the industry a long time! For any budding photographers, I’d say get out there and take pictures, whether it be a Sunday League football match, or a kick about in the park with some mates, keep taking pictures. Contact as many local clubs and ask for any kind of hands-on experience, photographing a reserve match, a youth team match or even training and keep building your portfolio and trying to improve.
One thing I’ve always tried to do throughout my career is always talk to other photographers and journalists, who are at the same game, it’s a great way to pick up new tricks of the trade and make contacts.
How to follow Joe Dent on social media…
Thanks for reading our Industry Insider feature with Peterborough United’s Club Photographer, Programme Editor and Videographer, Joe Dent!