Speaking to Causeway Coast Community this evening Maurice Bradley said “It is with great regret, that I have learned of the passing of Mark Jamieson, a former colleague, and award winning photographer, after a short illness.
The number of texts, calls and private FB messages earlier this morning showed the depth of concern and sadness felt by a large number of his friends and former colleagues throughout the Coleraine area and further afield.
Mark started working in the Chronicle through the darkroom with former colleague John Wilkinson.
However, he soon showed great potential as a photographer and began on a journey that made him a household name with the Coleraine Chronicle and an instantly recognisable photographer throughout Northern Ireland.
The standard of his work soon attracted national newspapers, and Mark quiet often was asked for his images by papers like the News of the World, Sunday World, Daily Mirror, Belfast Telegraph, Belfast Newsletter and Sunday Life.
Mark had a keen eye for a good photograph, but also a keen ear for a good story.
In the good old days when those who worked in the local press were on duty 24/7, never too busy to take a photograph, chase a story or go out in the middle of the night to follow a lead, it was not an employment, it was a vocation.
Mark epitomised this mindset. He often worked into the wee hours and as was par for the course, often extreme and anti-social hours.
The Chronicle, under the ownership of RJ Troy, was the life and sole of the local community. It carried up to date news and photographs and its staff were seen covering many local events and meetings, no matter how great or small.
It was during this work ethic that Mark rose to prominence. He loved sport and loved covering Coleraine games home and away.
He was instantly recognisable along with colleagues Maurice Platt, Peter Nash, Jimmy Gaston and others as the face of the Chronicle.
The first line of contact with the general public, and an endless supply of good stories and leads. Mark was perhaps the top man at seeking out many newsworthy leads and photographs for the Chronicle and other publications.
Mark came to work at the Chronicle in the early to mid-70s.
He remained there until the paper was sold in 2005 to new owners who had a different work ethic, and a different set of values, the community were no longer as important, topicality, top to date photography and news were not as important as under the previous owners and it was difficult for a top photographer like Mark to remain there.
In recent years, Mark was freelance, not being tied to any particular publication, he supplied images to all the main local papers, weekly and national.
The quality of his work meant he was always in demand and soon he started working with Local Woman and with the new and fast-growing Causeway Coast Community News bringing up to date news and photographs in focus almost as soon as events happened.
Mark was blessed with a talent for taking photographs. He also had an infectious personality. Indeed, many of his one-line sayings have stuck with many, many people down the years and are often repeated by former colleagues and his vast array of friends.
I would express my deepest sympathy to his daughter Lynsey, immediate and immediate family circle on their sad loss.
Mark has been taken from us too soon, but like a good negative, his image will endure for a long, long time.