Monday, 20 April 2015

A bird's eye view - Falconry portraits


I love my job. I love the weird and wonderful briefs I get and the unpredictability of this whole photography malarky. One day I am photographing the Duchess of Cambridge for a charity visit and the next I am donning falconry gauntlets to follow a hunt in Bedford for Countryfile magazine.

The brief was simple enough - join a hunt with birds of prey. Unfortunately, I can’t show you those pictures yet as it hasn't been published. However I like to go beyond my brief and add my own twist to a shoot. The client’s commission is a starting point of the process for me. I make sure I fulfil it and then I try to do more than asked for. This time the impressive birds and the passionate individuals begged for a series of portraits. I could not resist setting up a little studio in a shed to capture the people and their birds.

Birds of prey are scary, I can tell you that. They may look small from a distance but a meter tall eagle deciding to fly off in a small, dark shed with a slender young girl holding on to him is quite an experience. Luckily, the handlers were much more composed than I was and we got some great shots of the impressive animals and the people who love them.

Many thanks to BBC Countryfile magazine and the English School of Falconry for an awesome experience.

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