BA (Hons) Photojournalism student Samuel Padget photographed the moment professional US tennis player Serena Williams won the Ladies' Singles title at the 2016 Wimbledon Championships. Here he discusses how he came to be an official photographer at the event and his experience whilst studying on the photojournalism course at Cardiff Campus.
"Wimbledon came about through our external examiner, Neil Turner, who knew that I was keen in learning more about being a sports photographer. He put me in touch with Bob Martin, who has been the official photographer for Wimbledon for about 10 years, running the team that provides pictures to the Championships themselves. After a few trial shifts on other prestigious sporting events he gave me the contract for Wimbledon.
I had spent a lot of time doing general assisting tasks during the Championships, I had helped out with picture editing and been in charge of the Juniors' headshots, but Bob needed a picture from a different angle and didn't have any photographers available that could cover it. He described roughly what shot he had in mind, but it was down to me to make sure I was there and set up in order to take the shot at the right time. In the end, I got a good position in the photo box among the many other photographers and waited til the right moment, which was as soon as she scored the Championship point and flopped to the ground in relief/exhaustion. I only took about 20 frames, but I knew I had it. I only wish that her opponent, Angelique Kerber, had been in the frame too!
When she shared it on her Instagram page, I thought that was pretty much the best compliment I was going to get for it. I appreciated that Wimbledon liked it too as without them sharing it, she wouldn't have found it. I didn't realise she had used it until my friend sent me a screen capture from Instagram later that night with 290,000 likes on it - it eventually got 390k!
I've done a lot of other cool things while I've been on the course, like covering a couple of motorcycle races and the non-league final day at Wembley. I also enjoyed shooting The Blue Corner with Splott Boxing Club. What I have enjoyed most about the course is that I've experience working in different types of photography. This has made me a better all round photographer and I've applied some of those skills to my sports photographs, which has enhanced that.
The advice that I would give to anybody interested in studying photojournalism or currently studying it is to try and build contacts and get work experience while you are studying. A lot of the skills you learn on the course are very useful in the field but the industry is competitive, so you need to develop practices that are going to help you stand out. The experience of how things work in the 'real world' will let you identify strengths and weaknesses you may have, while allowing you the chance to find out what your real passion is."