December 2023 marks a decade since I pursued my dream career of becoming a professional photographer. Over those ten years I have met and photographed amazing people including royalty and some of my sporting heroes. Many of the companies I dreamt of working with are now clients such as GE Aviation Wales and the National Museum Cardiff (Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales). I have also discovered incredible innovative and dynamic companies such as Purolite and Ajuda.
To commemorate a decade of Paul Fears Photography, I thought I’d pick out a few photography assignments that bring back fond memories (and I apologise for anyone who is not featured). They are in no particular order and hopefully reflect the diversity of assignments that I’ve been fortunate enough to photograph. And I’m excited by those future assignments that are hidden over the horizon!
Merthyr Tydfil Industrial History
There has been talk about developing Rhydycar West near Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales for many years. Part of that development includes saving historical industrial workings presently hidden away in the overgrowth. Located across the area are remnants of iron works and coal mines and my assignment was to find and photograph those buildings. Over a number of days, in some exceptionally bitter cold weather, a local guide gave me a tour and showed me the incredible history hidden away on the Rhydycar West site.
Photo gallery: Merthyr Tydfil Industrial History
King Charles III Visits Tŷ Hafan
Tŷ Hafan is a Welsh registered charity that provides holistic palliative care for children with life-limiting conditions and their families from throughout Wales. The charity has provided support for my family for many years, especially in recent times. I had the great honour of photographing a visit from the then Prince of Wales, the patron of Tŷ Hafan. It was an incredible day, giving all the staff at the children’s hospice a huge boost. In the following years, I have photographed the King at another event in Newport and also Queen Camilla visiting a charity in Bridgend. On all three occasions, I found the now King and Queen simply wonderful.
Photo gallery: Tŷ Hafan Prince Charles Visit
Final Day of Doctor Who Experience
The Doctor Who Experience was an exhibition located in Cardiff Bay that attracted visitors from all around the world. I was first asked to photograph the exhibition after it has been reworked for Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor. I then had the great fortunate, especially as I am a huge Doctor Who fan, to photograph several events and even a couple of engagements at the Experience. Sadly, after five years, the Doctor Who Experience closed in the Summer of 2017. I was gutted, as were fans. I was asked to photograph that last day, capturing the throngs of fans who had travelled across from many corners of the world. It was hugely emotional for everyone concerned and, I think, a huge loss to the city of Cardiff.
Photo gallery: Doctor Who Experience Final Day
Many business people struggle with having photographs taken for business, especially headshots. I can sympathise as I don’t particularly like having my photograph taken. I had worked with Karen Howell of Zebroid Marketing for several years before she asked me to take some photographs of her for her new website. I knew that Karen did not particularly enjoy being photographed and so we planned something different to reflect her business identity. We used locations in the Cardiff Arcades and developed a truly unique set of business images.
Photo gallery: Zebroid Marketing
Wardill 4 Motorcycle
I have had the great pleasure of working with Caerbont Automotive Instruments (CAI) since 2016. CAI design and manufacture gauges for cars, motorcycles, boats and industry, including replacement SMITHS and British Jaeger instruments. For one project, the CAI team designed a speedometer for a vintage motorcycle called the Wardill4. Built by Mark Wardill, the motorcycle was based on a motorcycle designed by two passionate and determined brothers, Ernest and James Percival Wardill (aka Percy) in 1923. And Mark was based less than one mile from my home. We took a series of photographs on one of the roads crossing Llantrisant Common and even persuaded his Dad to model in some.
Photo gallery: Wardill4 Motorcycle
Bunting’s Metal Separators at Parry and Evans Recycling
Before I set up Paul Fears Photography I had worked supplying equipment to the recycling sector since the end of the 1980s. Since 2015, I have worked closely with Bunting, a manufacturer of separation and detection equipment. For me, it is always a thrill to go onto site and photograph equipment in action. At the Deeside Parry & Evans site, a Bunting Eddy Current Separator was recovering aluminium cans and an Overband Magnet was collecting steel cans. The photographs were then used in a press release that I wrote and featured in magazines both in the UK and internationally.
Photo gallery: Parry and Evans Recycling Bunting
Dogs Trust’s A Dog’s Trail
The 2022 A Dog’s Trail coincided with the opening of a new Dogs Trust dog rehoming centre in Cardiff. Lifesize Snoopy Dogs, most wonderfully painted by talented artists, were located around the streets and parks of Cardiff, Cardiff Bay, Caerphilly and Porthcawl. For a time I was dreaming of Snoopy Dogs, having spent many days photographing them against a white screen for the brochure and PR and then out on location. At the end of the project, the Snoopy Dogs were auctioned at an event in Cardiff, raising much-needed funds for the fantastic Dogs Trust charity.
Photo gallery: A Dog’s Trail Dogs Trust
24HRS4CF One Million Kilo Challenge
In 2018, Josh Llewellyn-Jones took on a challenge to lift one million kilogrammes in 24 hours in an attempt to set a new world record. What is more incredible is that Josh has cystic fibrosis. I joined Josh for the full 24 hours, watching and capturing the story of this crazy world record attempt. There was a lot of pain and tears, but finally, after 22 hours, Josh lifted his final weight to surpass the one million target. It was incredible to capture the story and demonstrated to me what can be achieved through dedication, hard work and sheer bloody-mindedness.
Photo gallery: 24HRS4CF One Million Kilo Challenge
5in55 Mountain Challenge
In 2017, Tŷ Hafan’s the Dads family support practitioner Gareth Jenkins came up with an idea for Dads of children and families who had or who were supported by Tŷ Hafan to take on a challenge. The hospice already staged the Welsh 3 Peaks every year and Gareth knew that this challenge had to be something different. So, he merged the National 3 Peaks (Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Yr Wyddfa – Snowdon) with the Welsh 3 Peaks (Yr Wyddfa, Cadair Idris and Pen-y-Fan) and created the 5in55. I joined the challenge as a Dad and the official photographer, capturing the story of how a group of men, Dads and Uncles, were able to climb and travel between five mountains in just 55 hours. One of the most incredible experiences of my life with men who have become friends for life.
Photo gallery: 5in55 Mountain Challenge
The Events Room’s 1973 Barbarians RFC ‘Magnificent Seven’ Dinner
On the 27th January 1973, the All Blacks played the Barbarians at the National Stadium in Cardiff, South Wales. Two minutes into the game, New Zealand winger Bryan Williams kicked the ball deep into the Barbarians 22, where it was collected by Phil Bennett. Twenty-two seconds later and Gareth Edwards had dived over to score a try after an amazing fluid move. This became widely known as “the greatest try ever scored”. In May 2019, the seven players who combined to score the try (The Magnificent Seven) took the stage at a rugby dinner organised by The Events Room at The Exchange Hotel in Cardiff.. I am a huge rugby union fan and having the opportunity of meeting and photographing was a dream come true. Sadly, I believe that this was the last time that all seven players were together.
Photo gallery: Magnificent Seven The Events Room
A Decade and Counting
My journey as a photographer continues and I am looking forward to the exciting assignments ahead. I want to thank everyone who has engaged me on a photography assignment over the past ten years. The support I’ve had has been amazing and I have had the good fortune to make many new friends.
And thank you to my wife, Jackie. Without your support, none of this would be possible. Thanks for putting the bottle of whisky out with a tumbler for when I get back late from photographing an awards evening. Thanks for being there when I am struggling. You are my rock.
Paul Fears is an industrial, commercial, events and wedding photographer based in South Wales. For more information or to discuss a specific photography project, please contact Paul on:
Tel: 07909103789 or 01443207773