Manchester Evening News’ last remaining staff photographer will leave the paper next month after being made compulsorily redundant.
Mark Waugh, who worked at the MEN for 14 years, plans to embark on a freelance photography career.
He was made redundant in March as part of a series of cutbacks made by MEN Media, a division of Guardian Media Group, that resulted in it closing all its district offices and 150 staff being axed.
Waugh, who had been the sole staff photographer for the last three years, said the paper intends to now only use self-employed photographers.
But he has not ruled out returning to work for the paper on a freelance basis.
He said: “The way I explain it is I’m stood at the end of a path with a million doors to be opened in front of me, like a little child in front of an advent calendar, every door has a little chocolate behind it and if I can find the big piece, the 24 of December, the big chunky Santa, I’ll be happy.”
Waugh said he believed the expense of maintaining the equipment necessary for staff photographers contributed to the decision to instead opt for for freelances.
He added: “I’ve loved my time there; I’ve done some amazing things. It’s been good, but I certainly wouldn’t push somebody young towards that sort of thing.”