How does she manage?

Paparazzi co-ordinator - Mel Lyons, sales director, Big Pictures

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Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

When did you become a manager?

In 1993. I was working as a croupier and left to set up the picture agency with my then husband Darryn Lyons, who now presents our Paparazzi show on BBC 3. We had the office in our spare bedroom, and made it up as we went along. I used to edit negatives through an eye-glass, make up prints and drive round all the newspapers to sell them face-to-face.

What does management mean to you?

Speed is of the essence. We're in competition with 20 other agencies, so we need to get the shots first and sell them for the most money. Pictures are constantly flying in, sometimes 100 a day, and I have to spot a fresh angle in what may be a boring-looking shot. As soon as it comes in, I edit it and send it out. I have to know what's going on and who's with whom, so that when we get calls from our tipping network I can get our photographers down there.

What do you love/hate about your job?

It's manic, and the phone calls at the weekend can get on top of you, but I'm very conscientious and it's nice to be under pressure to do a good job. And I never have a dull day - something amazing can happen at any time. I get a sense of achievement when I've decided to doorstep Kate Moss and then get to see our pictures of her all over the papers the next day. I still get a buzz, even after 13 years.

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