STANDARD chief photographer Steve Brading had his first commission at the age of 11.

After completing the job for the Ancient Order of Foresters, he set up a dark room in his parents’ garage and began the hobby which was to become a lifelong love and an illustrious career.

Now Steve is marking 30 years as the Standard’s lens man.

Over three decades, he has captured stunning images of Royals, prime ministers, fires, murder scenes, explosions as well as thousands of sporting events and day-to-day reportage for the Standard as well as its sister papers.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

  •  A car engulfed by flames after a crash with a schoolbus on the A120 near Great Bromley

Steve, 53, who lives in Ramsey, became a press photographer with the Isle of Wight County Press when he was 18 and moved to Essex in 1987.

During his career, he has taken hundreds of thousands of images to record news and sport in north Essex as well as going on tour with Colchester troops in Northern Ireland and Croatia.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

  •  Steve took this close-up photograph of the Queen when she visited Harwich in 2004.

An award-winning photographer, Steve said: “I consider it a huge honour to work as a press photographer.

“I love photography and I love news.

“I consider myself lucky to have been able to combine the two.

“Press photographers play a major role in reporting news. We record a moment in time which defines it and becomes part of history.

“It has been a privilege to witness events and to share them with our readers.”