Balshaw’s Church of England High School

Marcus Bleasdale – PhotoJournalist

Marcus left Balshaw's Church of England High School in around 1984. He grew up one of three children in Brindle and Preston. Despite loving art at Balshaw's and thinking of going to art school, he decided he should play it safe. His father said that he should concentrate on business and making sure he had enough money. He studied economics and finance at the University of Huddersfield. After a work placement at Tate and Lyle where he traded sugar, travelled between London, New York and Toronto, and glimpsed a very different world, He became interested in finance. He said, ‘It was thrilling, especially for me, having not been really been very exposed to what London or New York was about.’ He says he hates cities now, but at the time the ‘metropolitan glamour was very appealing’.

Marcus had many jobs earning serious money in 1994 he was on a basic salary of 100,000 plus a yearly bonus of anything up to half a million. As an investment banker Marcus Bleasdale was paid 500,000 a year to sit in front of 10 computers and 25 phones. ‘My job was to produce for the bank,’ he remembers, ‘also like been a battery chicken, sitting there laying eggs.’ Before the age of 30, Bleasdale was the owner of two houses and a 1968 Porsche 911, and he spent most weekends skiing in the Alps.

Now Bleasdale is a photojournalist and the change in his life could hardly have been more dramatic. He owns a flat, but no car, and at the age of 40 earns 60,000 a year, if he is lucky. The biggest change in Bleasdale's life is he no longer has a simple office job, he now photographs the bodies from war zones and interviews the survivors. Nevertheless Bleasdale couldn’t be happier ‘I like life being raw,’ he says.

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