Award-winning photographer dies after decades capturing happy moments

Photographer John McCulley, who died, aged 83. John is pictured with the Peter Stanhope Cup and an award from the Institute of Incorporated Photography. John's daughter Jill is the woman posing in the photograph.
Photographer John McCulley, who died, aged 83. John is pictured with the Peter Stanhope Cup and an award from the Institute of Incorporated Photography. John's daughter Jill is the woman posing in the photograph.
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AN award-winning wedding photographer has died after a career spanning 30 years.

Wedding and events photographer John McCulley died aged 83 on May 21.

John started his business in 1964, opening a studio in Hylton Road, with wife and business partner Ivy.

In the 70s he relocated his shop to Norfolk Street before finally moving to Blandford Street where it stayed until John retired in 1990.

John, of East Boldon, married Ivy, aged 74, in 1974 and they had two children together, Jill, 48, and Phil, 44.

Jill has carried on the family business and is also an events photographer.

Jill, whose studio is based in East Boldon, said: “So many people in town knew him. In the early days when he had his business, there were only two wedding photographers in town.

“Throughout his career he brought special memories to all of his customers by taking photos of their weddings. He touched a lot of people’s lives.”

John’s skills led to him scooping a clutch of awards, including the Institute of Incorporated Photography and the Peter Stanhope Cup, which he won so many times he was allowed to keep for good.

John died after taking his pet dog for a walk.

“The dog pulled him over and he had a fall. That was on May 13,” said Jill.

“I’ve got a lot to be thankful for,” said Jill. “He inspired my love of photography. He was a devoted father and grand-father and we were lucky to have him as long as we did. He was a lovely man, an old-fashioned gentleman.”

John was grandfather to Jonny, 20, Sarah, 10 and Jack, two.

There are still thousands of negatives from John’s old customers in the family attic and Jill is keen that any customers who want them can get in touch on 519 2244.

The ceremony will be at Sunderland Crematorium tomorrow at noon and all are welcome.

Twitter: @sunechohannah