I was approached back in October 2010 by a local farmer who I new from circuit training 20 years earlier, with regard to photographing Pheasant / Partridge shoots. I had no idea what to expect and at the time it was not high on my radar.
I remember him telling me at the time its the best way to network. Well he was right there. Its been an amazing journey.
So I found myself turning up a week later with no idea what to expect.
The day was sunny and clear and a typical shoot will have 8 guns and 6 to 8 drives. This depends on the time of the day, longer daylight you can shoot more drives.
You need to be aware of what is going on around you as 8 guns pointing to the sky, re-loading, potential can be dangerous. I was actually hit by a pheasant and yes it hurts.
I have now covered over 80 shoots and I have developed a way of moving around the guns ensuring I capture every one. The main thing is to remember these guns have paid to be there so I need to ensure I respect their space and not get in the way. More importantly I don’t want to be looking down the barrel of a gun, if I think I will be I move. The idea is to capture the whole day from the guns, shells, fund dogs, beaters, landscape, food etc. End of the day I put a slideshow together of some of my favourite images form the day.
So what I have learnt; networking has been immense, the idea this is a rich sport for the well off gentry is wrong, it brings people together from all aspects of life. There are hundreds of shoots during the shoot season. The countryside is a beautiful place, I knew that anyway. Its a industry that supports many people from the beaters, dog handlers, shooters, landowners, restaurants who will buy the birds, gunsmiths and the photographers.
Do I shoot, now I don’t, I prefer to stay behind the camera.
Every shoot is different, people, landscape, weather from sunny days to a snow blizzard. I love the idea you turn up and you have to capture the story unfold in-front of you.
I use Canon equipment and the main lenses i use is the 70-200mm f2.8 and the 16-35mm f2.8 on the 1Dx and 7Dmk11 bodies. The Idx is a dream of a camera to use in all types of conditions.
My style of shooting has meant I’m getting a good reputation in the industry and picking up commissions on a regular basis. This is a project that has been close to my heart with the view of becoming one of the best field photographers.
I felt now is the time to put together a website to promote my work in the pheasant and partridge shoots.
I produce books from each event using blurb via lightroom a great combination. Prints and recently metal prints are available for the guests to order online.
Feel free to have a look around the website, I’m available for commission please do not hesitate to contact me.