Graduation Tales: Game, set and match for photographer Sam

Sam Padget

Sam Padget, who graduated with a 2:1 BA (Hons) Photojournalism.

Not only is University of South Wales (USW) photojournalism student, Sam Padget, graduating this week with top marks, he’s also scored a top job at the 2017 Wimbledon Championships.

Sam, 31, from London, was granted a day off from the world-renowned tennis tournament to attend his graduation ceremony in Cardiff, where he was awarded an upper second class honours degree.

Sam decided to study at USW because of the course on offer.

“I was keen to study photojournalism as a specialism, and the course at the University of South Wales’ Cardiff campus was exactly what I had been looking for,” he said.

Whilst studying, Sam worked hard to ensure that he gained as much experience in the field as possible.

“Our external examiner, Neil Turner, put me in touch with Bob Martin, who has been the official photographer at Wimbledon for about 10 years. After a few trials he gave me a contract for an assistant role,” he said.

Sam took a photograph of Serena Williams, in the moment that she won the Ladies’ Singles title, which gained over 390,000 likes when Serena herself shared it on Instagram.

Serena Williams, Wimbledon by Samuel Padget

Image courtesy of AELTC/Samuel Bay

Sam has gained even more hands on experience, assisting Bob on other sporting events such as the London Marathon. He made such an impression that he was invited back to Wimbledon this year, employed as a Picture Editor – a step-up from his assistant role.

“It’s hard work but I’m thoroughly enjoying it,” he said.

“I proof the photographs as they come in from the live matches. I get to see pictures from the world’s best sport photographers before anyone else, so that’s a big deal for me.”

When asked if he had any advice for anyone interested in pursuing photojournalism, Sam said: “I can’t say enough how important it is to gain as much work experience while you are studying.

“You can’t leave it until you are about to graduate. The things you will learn from the industry will complement what you learn in the classroom.”