TRIBUTES have been paid to a respected photographer who “lived and breathed” the world of pictures.

Derek Argent was hugely popular in the Burnham community.

He worked as a photographer for the Daily Gazette and its sister paper the Maldon and Burnham Standard for more than 50 years.

He is also well-known in Colchester with numerous family members living there, including his son, Steve, who was also a Gazette photographer for 30 years.

Mr Argent was born in Bradwell-on-Sea and was the eldest of six siblings.

He grew up in the village and attended school there.

He first tried to join the Army at the age of 14 and served for six weeks in Brentwood when he came of age before being sent out to fight in the Korean War.

Upon his return, he met his wife, Doreen, at a film screening in 1955 and they were married in Southminster a year later.

They moved Burnham two years later and spent the rest of their married life there.

At about the same time, Mr Argent started taking photos for what was then the Burnham Advertiser before it became the Maldon and Burnham Standard.

A carpenter by trade, Mr Argent never took on a full time photography job but his family described it as his true passion.

Mrs Argent said: “Derek was the best possible husband anyone could want, he treated me so well and if there was anything I needed he would do it.

“He was really well known for his smile, he had a lovely smiley face which charmed so many people around the town.”

She added: “He loved the carnival, boats, harbour and quayside in Burnham, you’d always find him down there.

“He had his distinct blue hat which he wore everywhere. Anyone would recognise it no matter how far away he was.”

Mr Argent, who was 83, is survived by his wife, children Steve and Susan and his grandchildren.

Steve said: “Dad really did live and breathe the world of photography.

In his prime, he would do ten to 12 jobs every week and then a bunch more at the weekend.

“We’d never see him.

“He’d be in from work to eat dinner then whizz off out to the next big event.

“He always looked the part for the posh events and it wouldn’t be a case of being in and out in five minutes.

“If at an awards ceremony or presentation, he would be there until every person had been presented their award and given their speech.

“He would always work as hard as he could to get a different angle in the photos.

“Rounding people together, getting them to do different poses, always to make every shot interesting.

“He loved everything about it, and the community loved him back.”

The funeral date has not been confirmed.