'He had an unerring eye, courage and compassion'

The funeral of the Times photographer Richard Mills was held last week, with hundreds of people turning up to pay their respects.

Mills, 41, was found dead in a safe house in Harare, Zimbabwe, while on an undercover assignment covering the elections.

He had covered a number of danger zones for the paper since joining in 2000, including Iraq and Afghanistan, and was described by the Times editor, James Harding, as an outstanding photographer.

Harding told staff: ‘He reported for The Times from some of the most troubled places in the world. His work captured, with great humanity, the plight of people trying to live ordinary lives while caught up in extraordinary situations.

‘He had an unerring eye and a rare combination of courage and compassion. He was respected and loved by his colleagues. The Times has lost a great friend, a gifted photographer and a brave journalist.”

An obituary in The Times last week said that reporters who worked with him noticed that he always focused on his subjects’ eyes.

It read: ‘His portraits, especially of children and young people from violence-torn areas, reflected in their simplicity his own compassion for humanity.”

Mills trained as a photographer while in the Royal Air Force from 1987 to 2000. On leaving, he did a brief stint at The Irish News in Belfast before establishing himself as a freelance press photographer for The Times.

He was an associate of the British Institute of Professional Photography and won news photographer of the year at the 2003 What the Papers Say Awards.

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