“The first time I met Steve and the GolfPunk boys I knew they were going to take golf photography in a new direction. Up until then the only photos of us Tour pros were on-course shots taken by agency snappers, or if you were really lucky one of the golf mags would ask you to pose for a portrait on the first tee, stood idly next to your golf bag! I’m a massive fan of photography, of iconic images from history, and I feel fortunate to have worked with Steve over the years.

I have many examples of his work framed on my wall at home and a lot of my friends comment on them, saying; ‘How did you get that super-imposed?’ Of course none of it is super-imposed, it’s all real, and that’s testament to Steve’s imagination and ability. He has a reputation on Tour as the best in the business, and that’s why he was the first photographer I called when I launched my own fashion label.”

IAN POULTER

 
I became aware of Steve Read, not through his work, but the fact that we both had the habit of queuing up at the same coffee shop every morning. He would order a Cornish pasty cut in half with a slice of brie inserted in it. First impression was that he was a bit weird.

But there is method in the bloke’s madness. Following respective adventures in music and men’s magazines (he was Select and loaded, I was NME and GQ), we worked together on a magazine called GolfPunk. It was an independent magazine that won awards; not least because of Steve’s drive as its creative director. Since then, we’ve worked together on commercial projects, primarily for sports brands like Canterbury and Musto.

When I say Steve’s approach is different, it probably conjours up images of people dressed as goldfish playing harps, or something. Quite the opposite. He saves all the weirdness for his breakfast. As a bloke he’s a salt of the earth type with just the right amount of artistic appreciation for things – music, design, fashion, photography.

 
In work he makes as much of every opportunity, thinking on the fly when necessary, forward planning if need be. The big difference with Steve is there’s none of the melodrama or tension that sometimes results from this approach. There’s no creative journey masking a whole heap of nothing; just good photography.

He relishes a challenge. A perfect example of this is Steve’s ongoing relationship with the most successful British golfer of his age. Nick Faldo himself would happily admit to being a tricky customer. Steve has shot him twice. The first time he asked the six-time major winner to climb up a tree; the second time Faldo rolled his trousers up to his knee and willingly posed in a freezing cold river.

The point is, he’s not phased by anything in particular. Steve’s good at sizing up the situation, extremely resourceful when he needs to be and, best of all, he has an innate habit of making things go his way. You could call it good fortune, but there’s no such thing as someone who’s lucky all the time. Just someone who’s smart more often than not.

IESTYN GEORGE

Steve Read Photography
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