The Novice Photographer
Les Shorrock and his family first migrated to Australia in 1958 from England. He had played and followed football in England but did not become involved in Australian soccer until after attending the World Cup in Mexico in 1970. This reawakened his interest in football and he became involved in local clubs and started writing and broadcasting about the game.
His career in photography began in 1976 after he joined the newspaper 'Soccer Action', which was published by the Melbourne 'Age'. Because of the difficulty in getting photographs of games, he began to take photographs himself. Les says of this time:
"...every Monday morning I would take a roll of film into the dark room and humbly ask the manager if he would have them developed for me. Invariably I would go back a few hours later only to be told the dark room staff had been too busy and my roll would have to wait. That was useless to us, because, unlike 'The Age' itself which was printed in its own building, 'Soccer Action' was printed in Frankston and all the copy had to be sent there by courier and set up overnight. At the time, I hadn't the vaguest idea of how to develop and print a roll of film, but then, as I was trying one Monday morning to get the manager to see the problem, a staff photographer kindly stepped in and said, "I'll show you what to do" and proceeded to give me my first lesson.
His name is Kevin Schreiber and I am forever in his debt, and he was uppermost in my thoughts when I went up at the National Soccer League Annual Awards night in 1982 to collect the NSL Photographer of the Year Award. Kevin Schreiber is no longer with 'The Age', but I'll never forget him, because that day altered my life as I went on to take pictures for 'The Age' until I retired in 1996." (Shorrock, Life and Death of a Newspaper, c.2006)
Les went on to win the NSL Photographer of the Year Award again in 1984 and 1985.