We are greatly saddened to learn that Doreen Spooner, the first female photographer ‘staffer’ on a Fleet Street newspaper, has died aged 91.
The London address was the beating - and slowly breaking - heart of the British press industry.
Joining the Daily Mirror in 1949, Spooner was a participatory witness to the changing values and objectives of the newspaper picture desk, retiring in 1988.
Her first front page scoop - an image of the two women at the centre of the Profumo Affair - was caught as deftly as a butterfly in a net. With a love of picture-making, Spooner didn’t simply get the scoop, she gave the story form and shades.
A versatile ‘camera girl’ - the derogatory byline she turned around by using as the title of her autobiography - a working week could include national disasters, political crisis, unyielding celebrities and topless models for the notorious ‘Page 3’ shoots.
Intermittently working for the respected Keystone Features agency, our Archive holds a volume of Spooner’s documentary essays. The format’s longer duration allowed her to be curious and fully explore a narrative, rather than summarise a subject in the one frame. This 1950 portrait was taken from a study of an Amish community in Pennsylvania, America, and is indicative of her lucid style at this pace.
In remembrance, our editors have shared a gallery of Doreen Spooner’s images - follow our bio link to view.
📷: Doreen Spooner/Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images