Snapper hangs up his camera after half a century behind the lens

PUBLISHED: 15:55 26 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:55 26 February 2018

Mike Perry, owner of David Lipson Photography

Mike Perry, owner of David Lipson Photography

David Lipson Photography

After 51 years of serving Great Dunmow, Mike Perry, owner of David Lipson Photography, has retired, and the shop closed its doors for the final time on Saturday.

From chronicling local school proms to snapping hotels in Barbados and stately Buckinham Palace rooms, Mike, 67, has led a distinguished career at David Lipson.

The shop, based in High Street, provides photo mounting services, event and commercial photography.

His passion for photography began at just 11-years-old, after his father presented him with a Kodak Instamatic camera.

Mr Perry, who lives in Great Dunmow with his wife Sue, 61, said: “I could never get what I wanted when I drew or from art, but I could create what I wanted from a camera, and that’s what inspired me.”

He sold his first photograph at 13, after developing it in his own dark room. Soon after, at 15, he began work at David Lipson in 1966, six years after the shop opened, earning five pounds a week to start.

Mr Perry: “I will miss the customers most. We have a very broad base of customers who come from all over the place, and will be sad to see us go. Unfortunately, the shop demands working six days a week and very often nine hours a day. We can’t go on forever. I haven’t had a week’s holiday for more than 35 years. The maximum I have had off is three days. It will be good to have some time for myself.”

Mike has travelled to Buckingham Palace, where he photographed a present to the Queen, and clients have flown him out to Caribbean hotels. He has also shot for airlines Channel Express and Cathay Pacific.

“The job has taken us all around the world, said Mr Perry. “We have been into places that the average person could not get into, such as science laboratories.”

As a well deserved break, Mike is now planning trips to Amersterdam, France and Spain with his wife and golfing friends.

An open day event was held at the shop on Saturday, where loyal customers and locals had the chance to visit the shop one last time.

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