A talented, young photography student is gaining valuable experience at Victoria Park after being invited to take photographs at the Club’s home games.
Joe Spence is studying for his A Levels at English Martyrs and was recommended to Pools by his tutor David Carless, with the Club looking to broaden the content it offers on its Official Website and social media channels.
The teenager has been on duty at the last three home games – proving a lucky mascot as Pools defeated both Newport County, Torquay United and Bristol Rovers.
“It’s been absolutely great so far, a bit overwhelming to be honest,” explained Joe.
“It’s a great experience for me and it’s something I never thought I would be able to do but as soon as the opportunity came my way I was really excited to get involved.
“I think my favourite photo so far is one of the ones I got of Marlon Harewood celebrating his goal in the Torquay game - I like the emotion he showed and the atmosphere that day was unbelievable.
“My aim to get as much stuff as possible for the Club to use, both on a matchday and for the archives so I’m just thrilled to be given the chance to help and gain this experience.”
His tutor David Carless – a Season Ticket holder at Victoria Park – admitted that Joe was his first thought when the Club asked him about up and coming photographers.
He says it’s no surprise that the youngster has adapted to sports photography so quickly because he’s got a keen eye and a willingness to listen.
“It’s brilliant that we’ve been able to forge this link between English Martyrs and the Football Club,” he told us.
“Joe is technically and creatively one of the best students we’ve had on the course we run and for him to get the opportunity to develop his A Level work in this way is priceless.
“I have to admit I felt so proud when I saw his work being displayed on the Club’s Official Website but I always knew he’d produce that kind of calibre – he’s got a great eye for a photo and excellent technical knowledge.”
Spence has been getting expert tips from Hartlepool Mail snapper Frank Reid who has taken the youngster under his wing and tried to pass on some of his experience of shooting football.
“It’s great that Joe has got the opportunity to come and photograph live professional sport in the town,” Frank commented.
“Obviously you can go and do Sunday League football but to come in to The Vic and be able to photograph league football is a wonderful way to gain experience and Joe is thriving on it.
“I will try to help him as much as I can along the way but he looks to have a good eye, he’s keen to learn and he’s enthusiastic so hopefully he can keep on improving.”