Desmond Pugh currently works as a  photographer for the Monmouthshire Beacon, Monmouth Comprehensive School and Haberdashers' Monmouth Schools. He also engages in freelance work and publishes books under the name LadeHouse Books.


Established as a photographer in 1989, I spent the first part of my career in the wedding and commercial sector of the market, using a mixture of 35mm and medium format cameras.


I had the pleasure of photographing many weddings including those of the former Member of Parliament for Monmouth, Huw Edwards and the Vicar of Raglan, Rev. Simon Guest. I have captured large family weddings at prestigious venues from Monmouth to Cardiff, and small ceremonies at the Registry Office in Abergavenny. The largest wedding I photographed was at Buckfast Abbey, where the bride had nine bridesmaids – a rare sight in those days – and there was a larger crowd of tourists behind me than guests in front of the camera, as everyone loves a wedding!


I was asked to work for the local paper, the Monmouthshire Beacon in 1997 by the editor at the time, Ken Goodwin as well as continuing Saturday wedding ceremonies, often turning up to photograph a rugby match in my morning suit on the way back from a wedding.


It was in 2000 under the helm of the late Eileen Eldridge that we decided to start using digital cameras and the switch was made away from the traditional method of scanning pictures into paste boards and the digital files were just dropped into the Quark document.


I began writing the reports for the photographs I was taking and became well known in the area as the Beacon photographer.
It was getting to the stage that, having photographed weddings for 25 years, it was time to stand to one side as the newspaper work was taking over more and more of my time.


I became senior reporter and photographer at the paper, having turned down the position of editor; photography is my first passion. I am also the official photographer for Monmouth Comprehensive School and take many of the pictures for the Haberdashers’ Schools in Monmouth, from school events to royal visits. I began book publishing under the name of LadeHouse Books. The first book being “The History of Hilston Park”, co-written with my mother, Pamela Pugh.


During my time with the newspaper, I have been airborne in

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helicopters and hot air balloons, been sent to Germany with the local engineers regiment, the Royal Monmouthshire, Royal Engineers (Militia) as well as covering every Christmas Day with the mayor’s visits to local nursing homes, all the carnivals and festivals, and every New Year’s Day hunt meet, apart from the one that was cancelled for reasons that evade me now.


Every Monmouthshire Show, 27 Remembrance Sundays to date and all the Freedom Parades by the army and the navy have come under my lens; the one job I remember the most was the town’s tribute to soldier Jamie Gunn who was killed in Afghanistan, when the whole town fell silent, shops closed and people stood on the pavement as the funeral cortège drove slowly through the town.