Paul Hackett

Paul Hackett

London, United Kingdom
Glasgow, United Kingdom
“That sense of bearing witness – I still find that enjoyable.”


I cover mainly London news and some sports.

One Shot

. London, United Kingdom. Reuters/Paul Hackett
David Norris (C rear with blue shirt), one of five youths initially charged, but not convicted, of the murder of teenager Stephen Lawrence in 1993, runs for cover as he and others are pelted with eggs. David Norris and Gary Dobson were found guilty of murdering Stephen Lawrence January 3, 2012, after a second trial.
“I took this picture on an everyday assignment, but I got lucky that day. I like this image because the story has taken different twists and turns over the years, so it’s been used quite often - it’s my most used image.”


My earliest memory of photography is from school. I guess I would have been about 15, and during an art class the teacher introduced us to taking pictures.

Photography started to appeal to me quite early on. I think some people go into photography because maybe they lack some technical drawing skills – I wasn’t a very good painter or drawer, but I did enjoy composing pictures.

My first assignment was shooting a football match when I was on work experience. It was a match in Scotland – Celtic vs. Dundee United, I think. They weren’t great pictures, but I certainly got that excitement about being at an event.

I don't think any one assignment has left a big mark on me. Over the years, there’s been no single, big, life-changing experience. But each one has had it’s own little effect on me.

When shooting pictures, I think that you have to be as professional as possible and just know what’s expected of you. That means understanding what the story is, and what the point is of the thing that you’re trying to communicate.

I enjoy breaking news stories the most. By definition, on these assignments things change all the time, and you get that feeling that you’re witnessing something. That sense of bearing witness – I still find that enjoyable.

When I’m taking pictures I think about what’s happening and what I think is interesting about it, but I don’t think about shooting for a specific audience. It’s all about: What’s the point of this? What’s going on here?

My biggest lesson is that you will always be surprised by people and events. When you’re on a story, there’s a tendency for people to try to work out what will happen. I think I’ve learnt just to make a calculated judgement and forget about the speculation.

I respect all photographers who work hard.