Eric Watson (photographer)

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Eric Watson (9 September 1955 – 18 March 2012) was an English photographer.[1]

Watson was born in Newcastle. He moved to London in 1974 and studied fine art at Hornsey Art College from 1977-1980,[1] where his contemporaries included Adam Ant.[2] He became an assistant to the photographer Red Saunders in 1980 and soon branched out as a photographer in his own right, primarily in the pop music business. From 1981 to 1986 he was one of the main photographers for "Smash Hits" magazine where his friend Neil Tennant was assistant editor.

When Tennant formed the Pet Shop Boys with Chris Lowe, Watson took the first photographs of them and was their main photographer and video director from 1984 to 1991.[citation needed] Watson was much in demand as a pop photographer throughout the 1980s.

The first video he directed was "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)" for Pet Shop Boys in 1985, his co-director being Andy Morahan. He subsequently directed a series of Pet Shop Boys videos, including "Suburbia", "What Have I Done to Deserve This?", "Domino Dancing" and "DJ Culture". He also directed videos for many other pop artists including Holly Johnson and Yaz before concentrating on TV commercials.

He has exhibited his photographs at the Blue Gallery in London and in the "Icons of Pop" exhibition of 1999 at the National Portrait Gallery.[2] His photographs of Pet Shop Boys were displayed at the National Portrait Gallery in London in 2006.

In later years Eric worked as Head of Photography at a small school located in Rye, East Sussex. During his time at that institution he managed to raise the school's photography grades dramatically and inspired a large number of young students.

On 18 March 2012, Watson died after suffering a heart attack.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Hoare, Philip (23 March 2012). "Eric Watson obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 July 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Perrone, Pierre (6 April 2012). "Eric Watson: Photographer who worked with the Pet Shop Boys and for pop bible Smash Hits". The Independent. Retrieved 7 July 2015. 
  • Heath, Chris; Philip Hoare (2006). Pet Shop Boys Catalogue. Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0-500-51307-4.