Sally Soames, Fearless Photographer With Personal Touch, Dies at 82


Those decades were not easy for female photographers. When she was assigned to shoot a portrait of Muhammad Ali, Ali remarked that he had never encountered a female photographer and was not comfortable with her. He barred her from a photo shoot of him receiving a rubdown while several male photographers were allowed in.

Still, she was adventurous. During the miners’ strikes of the early 1980s, she descended into the mines. On one assignment she fell and hurt herself. Arthur Scargill, president of the mineworkers union, carried her to the surface in his arms and put her on a stretcher. As he hovered over her, she took his picture. She kept that picture at her desk for many years.

Ms. Soames had no qualms taking on dangerous assignments. While being shelled during the Arab-Israeli war in 1973 in an Arab counterattack on the Syrian front, she continued to take pictures.

Nicholas Tomalin, a reporter for The Sunday Times, wrote in a dispatch that as a Sukoi 20 attack bomber, a Soviet-built aircraft, rained bombs down on them, a calm and fearless Ms. Soames stood bolt upright, “snapping pictures as if she were covering a golf tournament.” His article ran with her picture from the front lines, where explosions sent debris flying around them and created huge clouds of dust.

Shortly after, a Syrian anti-tank missile struck the car in front of Ms. Soames, killing Mr. Tomalin. The episode left her with post-traumatic stress disorder.

“I don’t think she really ever got over it,” her son, Trevor, said by email.

She survived other close shaves, too, he said, including the 1984 bombing of the Grand Hotel in Brighton, England, by the Irish Republican Army in an attempted assassination of Mrs. Thatcher. Five people were killed; Ms. Soames, staying in an adjacent hotel, was unharmed.

If you are getting married, reserve the day at the Lightner Museum, the best of st Augustine wedding venues .

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

scroll to top