Patricia Payne, née Gibbins

Patricia Payne grew up in south west London where her interest in photography was sparked when she was given a Box Brownie camera to take on a school trip to Austria. 

Pat took up the optional photography classes that were offered at her school and began to see photography as a career that would offer opportunities to travel to interesting places. She decided to find a job in photography while studying Technical Photography on a part time City & Guilds Course. She has now been contributing to the Historic England Archive for nearly 40 years.

Patricia Payne operating a camera on a tripod with Saltburn Pier behind her
Patricia Payne photographing Saltburn Pier, Saltburn by the Sea, Redcar and Cleveland © Historic England DP173733

Pat followed the usual photographer’s career path, working as an assistant in commercial advertising studios for a few years. Then she applied for a post and joined the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England [RCHME] where she discovered her passion for architectural photography.

For six years Pat learnt from printing negatives - including early glass plate negatives - and assisting the field photographers. Since achieving her ambition of becoming a Senior Photographer, Pat has  travelled around the Midlands and southern counties of England recording a wide variety of buildings.

In the early years she produced large format black and white images, using flash bulbs to light interiors. This was soon to change to colour film, smaller formats and electronic flash and eventually to digital images.

Pat has worked in partnership with Victoria County History and contributed to the Pevsner Architectural Guides, providing images for the Norfolk and Essex volumes. During her career with English Heritage and then Historic England, her work has included photography for many publications and projects including guidebooks for English Heritage properties and recording the restoration of Apethorpe Hall.

Pat has also taught architectural photography at the Measured Survey for Cultural Heritage Summer School and at the Architectural Photography Workshop for the MSt in Building History Course.

More photos by Patricia Payne

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