Leo Mason became a professional photographer in 1975 after his first career as an art director at Grey Advertising. After a short period working on the Observer newspaper and other national papers, he founded the London-based Split Second Photo Agency. Over the next 35 years, he worked and contributed to all the world’s top magazines, including Time, Sports Illustrated, Life, Newsweek, GQ, Paris-Match, Stern and many others.
He has covered all summer Olympics from 1976-2008, plus four winter Olympics, FIFA World Cups and most international major sporting events. With such coverage, it comes as no surprise that his archival library contains over 350,000 film images dating 1975-2000, and in excess of 200,000 high-resolution digital files from 2000 to the present.
He spent one year shooting American sports in Los Angeles after the 1984 Olympics, and in 1987-88, he lived in Fremantle, Australia, working under contract for Time magazine to cover the America's Cup. He went on to become photo press officer for the 1991 Rugby World Cup and official photographer for the Blue Arrow America’s Cup challenge, Martell Grand National, and Cisco World Matchplay, to name a few.
Leo lectures and gives audio-video photographic shows. Recent events have been at Oxford University, UCA Farnham and the Royal Photographic Society. He is a former council member of the Chelsea Arts Club, and was chair of the club’s exhibitions and shows sub-committee for two years. He is an associate member of the Royal Photographic Society and holds over 18 major photographic awards.
Leo’s photo exhibitions include: “The Coast Exposed,” in association with Magnum Photos and the National Trust, on permanent display at the Greenwich; National Maritime Museum; The Lowry Museum at Salford Quays Manchester; The Rac Club Pall Mall; The Chelsea Arts Club; and The 195 Kings Road Gallery Chelsea.