Brian Harris’s Book

‘…and then the Prime Minister hit me…’

Brian Harris blog pics-Jan 2016_20166182

My partner Nikki is partly to blame, for it was her who has pushed me to write down all my stories, my lectures, my history from over 45 years working as an editorial news photographer for the national press in the UK and turn them into an enjoyable illustrated read.

Writing an autobiographical book about ones life is like cleaning out the hard drive on a computer…and best done before my hard drive of a brain starts to fail and all that history, all those wonderful stories and self deprecating anecdotes disappear for ever.

The 75,000 plus words have taken over 5 years to write. It has been a full time job and even now I am finding more stories to add.

At the beginning I really had no idea where to start…a blank page, even on a computer screen, is quite frightening, and so, I started in the middle and worked back and forth as my life experiences revealed themselves to me, as if in a series of dreams. And yes, I did wake in the small hours on many occasions scrambling around in the dark looking for a note book to make a note to self to write up in the morning.

After a few months I got into the rhythm of writing for a few hours starting early each morning before stomping off for a fast walk to clear the head. I began to enjoy the process of establishing a specific period and writing up all I could remember. Sometimes in a humorous self deprecating way and sometimes deadly serious, but always I hope…interestingly.

Over the years I have always made a point of keeping all my note books and ephemera such as hotel brochures, maps and plane tickets from my world wide travels for various newspapers and magazines, a wonderful reserve of dates and places with which to give my grey matter a jolt every so often.

Brian Harris blog pics-Jan 2016_20166115

I have a collection of thousands of bromide prints and negatives and contact sheets (above) from which to work, these have been invaluable as I have noticed that the ‘picture of the day’ that was edited either by me whilst away on the story or back at base by a photo editor was NOT actually the best image. Very often pictures taken on the way to an event or story are far more interesting.

I intend to update this blog on a regular basis keeping you informed as to the latest position of the production my book, where we are at regarding proof reading, designing, picture editing and all the hundreds of things that you have no idea about…….

Author: brianharrisphotographer

I have been an editorial photographer since 1969. After working for various 'Fleet Street' press agencies and local papers in the east end of London I joined The Times of London where I worked around the world until 1985. I joined The Independent Newspaper in London in 1986 and stayed with them until 1999. I'm still working as a photographer, generating my own story ideas which I sell to the international magazine market. I also contribute generic stock images to various photo libraries. I live near Cambridge in eastern England.

18 thoughts on “Brian Harris’s Book”

  1. Reblogged this on Neil Turner {photographer} and commented:
    Brian was there when I got started and his stories have always been entertaining. I’d strongly recommend anyone interested in photography or just life itself to follow Brian and read his book when it comes out.


  2. I’ll buy it ! A friend introduced me to the Independent in 1989 telling me he only bought it for the photography. Your stuff, mostly. I look forward to your book.


  3. When and where can we get this much talked about book!

    And how much is your life’s work going to cost ?

    Even if it is £50 it will be a great read and cheap at

    Dave Hogan


    1. Hi Michael…Thanks for the leg up all those years back…the Wilson story sort of makes the book but I use ‘We locked horns…’ as my euphemism to get around any legal unpleasantness …I’m sure you understand…


  4. Hi Brian,
    I’d love to buy a copy please! (Will you sign it?).
    I used to buy the Independent every day, not for the news but for the fantastic photography. One of my favourite images of all time was your photo of the lady on the train looking out of the window in fist class. I think it ran full front page .. stunning.
    Kindest regards

    ps. It is partly your bloody fault that I took the plunge and became a professional photographer 20+ years ago 🙂


  5. My friendship with Brian extends back to 1981-2 when we were both working for The Times. Is it really 35 years ago? You were my first choice for The Indy picture department in 1986. At Gray’s Inn Road I remember one particularly juicy encounter you had with Charlie ‘Gorbals’ Wilson when you arrived hot off the plane from an African refugee camp. Hope that’s in the book!


    1. Hi Michael…Thanks for the leg up all those years back…the Wilson story sort of makes the book but I use ‘We locked horns…’ as my euphemism to get around any legal unpleasantness …I’m sure you understand…


  6. Yes, echoing the other comments here, I too started getting the Indie partly because of the images (mostly yours)… real legend, I’ll def buy the book! let us know when we can get it (I assume you’ll let the Epukers know?!) Mark


  7. Congratulations, Brian. I look forward to getting myself a copy. Might I just suggest that the all caps text on the blog is a bit hectic to read. It shouts too loud. My dyslexia doesn’t help, of course.


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