Two former Birmingham Post photographers are striking out on their own after distinguished careers at the newspaper.

Former Post picture editor Simon Hadley is going back to his roots as a photographer after spending six years on the picture desk.

Mr Hadley joined the Post in 2000 from the Gloucestershire Echo where he worked as picture editor, primarily to get back on the road as a photographer, but he soon found himself back on the picture desk full time.

“In that time I was involved in the management of many changes within the structure of the Birmingham Post and Mail, for example the pooling of the photographers and the merging of the picture desks and more recently the new multimedia compact version of the Birmingham Post,” he said.

During his time at the Post he won the Picture Editors Awards competition, receiving his trophy from the then Chancellor Gordon Brown.

He said: “After five years on the picture desk I am now looking forward to doing what I enjoy most – taking pictures.”

Meanwhile, Sam Bagnall, a former staff photographer for the Sunday Mercury, Birmingham Post and Birmingham Mail, is also launching a freelance career.

Mr Bagnall has won many awards including the acclaimed Barclays Premier League Photographer of the Year title in 2003.

His impressive client list includes Lloyds TSB, Thomas Vale Construction, Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, West Bromwich Albion FC and Boxfresh Organics. He said: “I am really excited about the prospect of this new venture, it means I can work closely with clients to create the striking images they want to achieve. I’m passionate about photography and enjoy the challenge of varied subjects and working with new people.”