I’m self-taught in most areas of photography and photo processing but I’ve learned my portrait photography at what is considered to be the best school in the country, Aspire Photography Training in Burton-in-Kendal, Cumbria.
Here, I’ve been trained by some of the top photographers in the UK, who have also been trained here and who also continue to undergo training. There is never a point where “you know it all.”
In September 2013, my training group had been photographing a mother and daughter in the grounds of Dalton Hall, with European Portrait Photographer of the Year, Tamara Peel. It had been raining earlier in the day and was wet underfoot.
We had finished our shoot and were all walking back up to Aspire’s premises in the stable block at Dalton Hall. I was talking to another member of the group when I heard a giggle. I looked up and spotted the mother and daugher, running together through the puddles on the lane up to the stable block. My background is sports photography and I’ve learned to never switch my cameras off until I’m ready to pack them away for the day. I swung a camera up and fired off three shots of the two of them in quick succession. And then the moment had gone.
Of the three photos, this was the best as the mother and daughter were mirroring each other and you can just see the reflection of their boots on the damp lane. I had thought about turning this photo into a black and white image, but realised that the limited colour palette worked well.
In many ways, it’s the most unusual portrait shot that I’ve ever taken but also one of the happiest. You can’t see the mother and daughter’s faces but the body language tells you everything.
Photograph taken 17th September 2013 with a Canon Eos 1Dx and a 70mm – 200mm lens set to 123mm. Exposure 1/160 second at f 5.6. ISO 800.