Bipolar Me- Work experience Day One

This week has been extraordinary .

I went on works experience with the Hull Daily Mail [HDM], the local paper in Hull and the East Riding. This came about due to my blogging about photography and my mental health issues. After I was interviewed with Allison, the deputy editor Jamie contacted me and asked if I wanted to do some works experience. An opportunity I’d jump at.

After a few emails between myself and Rob the photo editor at the HDM we settled on a date and a timing for me to come in.

On the day I arrived at the HDM offices half an hour early for three reasons. One, I am an former soldier. Soldiers are always on parade 10 minutes before, it’s ingrained. Two, I get really, really really anxious if I’m late, close to a panic if I am late. And three- It shows willingness.

Unfortunately Rob the photo editor was away on holiday so his senior photographer Kate had been deputised to fill in for him. Kate is a wonderful photographer who I’ve met out and about.

They actually thought I was meant to be in earlier but there had been miscommunication somewhere but it wasn’t a problem. I was paired with an affable gent called Les who freelances for the HDM amongst many things.

Les had been tasked with some briefs for the day. The first task was to get images of a cricket match in Beverley. We arrived to see that the match had already started, so we set about taking images of the cricket action.

Taking multiple shots of the bowlers and the cricketers replies by striking the ball. Unfortunately my shoots were all taken at a distance so my lens was not adequate enough to get close-up shoots of the action but I persevered.



For the next brief we headed to the centre of Beverley to take photos of the Thai Palace Restaurant. The brief was to collect photographs of the exterior, interior and photograph some of the food on the menu.

The restaurant owners prepared the dishes and presented them beautifully in the upstairs of the restaurant away from the bustle of the lunch time rush. I took some images of the exterior and a couple of internal shoots of the busy diners. I didn’t take any photos of the food, I simply acted as an assistant to Les. Helping take the food to a table and presenting the food on a table we had prepped for individual shoots of each dish. Observing how he took the images using the ambient light and bouncing the flash of the ceiling.

When we finished the task the manager turned to us and said – you may as well eat it now. You could have knocked me over with a feather. We tucked in, it would have been rude not to.


The next job was also in Beverley. The brief was to collect publicity shots for a popular chain of hardware supply shops. Les and our point of contact arranged a time to meet. We arrived at the location to find were in fact early. So whilst there Les showed me that no time is wasted. Les got out his laptop and edited his images and transmitted them to the Picture Desk via the Internet. Being a novice I did my best to get my images to Kate on the Picture Desk best I could by wiring my SD card to my iPad. Unfortunately my images were far too big to be sent in bulk via my email.

This frustrate me a little, but I discussed it with Les who explained why I needed to take smaller file size images for the picture desk and papers in general. Expediency and speed is name of the game.

When the client called Charles arrived we quickly arranged the people in to the shot and Les took his images and then he encouraged me to take mine.


With guidance from Les I accomplished this shot.  It was nerve racking trying to encourage people to pose naturally and not feel awkward but that simply boils down to the confidence

So all in all a good day.  One of the best treatments for mental health is to do something and do something you love and enjoy.  It can be very effective in combating the negatives by doing something so positive.

Best part is I was invited in again to work the next day.  I will blog about that in my next blog

If you have enjoyed what I’ve written feel free to contact me and follow me on twitter at @Lash1978.  Until the next blog, have good mental health.



About martinupfold

Hi I am Martin Upfold and I am a father, husband, army veteran, student of photography and citizen journalist. Dealing with bipolar and depression, tackling it head on. I am sustained by my lovely wife Sarah and we have two beautiful sons Brendan, our youngest and Kieran, our eldest who has Aspergers Syndrome which is on the Autistic Spectrum. What I do to cope with my situation is to do photography and occasionally blog about it.
This entry was posted in Bipolar, Bipolar disorder, Blogging, depression, Hull Daily Mail, Mental health, mental health issues, photography, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Bipolar Me- Work experience Day One

  1. steelcityman says:

    Most excellent blog Martin, thoroughly enjoyed sharing your experience at the HDM. I felt the excitement and passion in your words. (Go to the top of the class and sharpen the rubbers … lol)

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