"Rich is one of my first-choice cameramen for any job, but particularly for working with younger directors. He doesn't just get you the pretty shots you need to tell the story (although he does definitely do that), he takes responsibility for the success of a shoot. Whether its technical or creative trouble-shooting, or handling difficult characters and sensitive situations, I trust Rich to deliver the goods."
Greg Chivers, Head of Factual, WAGTV
"I have worked with Richard on long-form, in-depth geopolitical documentary series for Al Jazeera English, most recently the new The Big Picture series.
Richard was instrumental in developing the visual style of the films which was based around set-piece interviews in a variety of often challenging locations. Richard’s experience and skill were vital in giving each interview a cinematic feel with a visual gravitas that supported the tone of the topics covered and the series’ identity. By single-handedly taking care of lighting and audio on these multiple camera shoots, Richard made sure that we were set-up in good time, always worked to the requirements of the production (as well as occasionally the needs of interviewees) and offered imagination and creativity when locations were limited and lighting problematic.
His understanding of and engagement with the varied subject matter meant he responded to the flow of interviews, using the camera and his framing to convey intimacy or poignancy as required.
As well as these location interviews, Richard helped devise and supervise a five-camera discussion shoot involving four people and shot to give a near-360 feel. This required working with other crew and choreograph moving cameras as well as expertly operate a dolly camera to provide dynamic, engaging filming.
Richard’s reliability, technical excellence and understated good humour have been a central part of the major series that I have produced for Al Jazeera English since 2015."
Sanjiev Johal, Senior Producer, Al Jazeera Programmes
"My job involves travelling around Europe and the Middle East, reporting on either breaking news or set piece events like political summits.
To a large degree success is contingent on the ability of my cameraman/editor to provide the pictures, editorial insight and editing skills necessary to help guarantee a result. The job involves great technical ability, speed of thought, presence of mind and the ability to work to an extremely high standard often under pressure or the threat of physical violence.
I would say in my experience that Richard Ashdown is one of the three or four best operators I have had the privilege of working with throughout my career.
We have worked together in a variety of locations, most notably over extended periods during the refugee crisis in 2014 and 2015 when we followed the migrant route through the Balkans, via Slovenia and into Austria. We have done other jobs together in a variety of countries including Bulgaria, Greece and all over western continental Europe.
In my opinion Richard is an outstanding cameraman. His eye for a picture is brilliant. As well, he thinks like a reporter – understands the story in its verbal narrative as well as pictorial sense – and his editing ability is second to none.
On top of all this, he is a brilliant team player, never loses his temper or gets angry, and is a joy to work with.
If I was given the choice of working with him all the time it would be hard to resist. I cannot recommend him to you highly enough."
Laurence Lee, Senior Correspondent, Al Jazeera English
“Richard is not only a fantastic cameraman, he is also a pleasure to work with. He understands a client or a journalist’s brief immediately, and will always add his own creative touches and ideas. His footage and edits are a cut above and he is always my no.1 go-to cameraman.”
Tessa Parry-Wingfield, Producer, Thomson Reuters
"It's hard to know when I appreciate Richard's work more - in the field, where he's helpful and creative and always working hard, or in the edit room, when you see that you have every picture you need and more to tell your story.
Working with Richard Ashdown is a joy, even when the job is difficult, the days are long, and the story not always apparent. No matter what’s happening, Richard works to ensure the best possible story gets on the air. He is a true team player, who listens to interviews and pieces to camera and speaks up if there’s a problem or something that was unclear.
His years of experience come in handy when you’re searching for the right standup location, element or interview - because he always has an idea.
It also doesn’t hurt that he’s a news junkie, so he understands the story, and what might help take it forward.
I've worked with Richard in challenging situations (the takeover of Crimea) and on more benign stories (Brexit) and couldn't recommend him highly enough. A consummate professional and an all around good guy."
Jennifer Glasse, Correspondent