2021. What a year. Full of highs and some lows, but my god I have crammed in a lot...
One of the many things I will take away from this year is my passion for racing. In January 2021, I knew nothing about horse racing, so to then go and photograph at Royal Ascot, Glouious Goodwood, QIPCO Champions Days and the Countryside Day at Cheltenham was an eloquent moment for myself. I have attended many Point to Points for the first time this year, providing photographs for the Point to Point Owners and Rider Association. Pointing has now become something more for me, as I sponsored my first jockey in November 2021, which made the sport a little more special for me. Regular trips down to the Hill's yard in Aston Rowant has meant I have formed notable bonds with the horses, trainers and jockeys. What a fantastic crowd of people there is in the racing community... To name a few, I have visited trainers across the country, with Alan King, Venetia Williams, Andrew Balding, Eve Johnston Houghton, Ben Case, and Tom George, as well as a visit to Tweenhills. I both enjoyed these experiences, but I also greatly appreciated it, as it is from those honings that I have been able to launch myself into the industry of racing.
Racing was not the only thing I did in 2021, however... I visited eight packs over the past 12 months in beautiful parts of the country, from the Avon Vale and the Berkeley to the Tynedale. Everyone was so different, yet so charming and unaltered - it was a joy to document. I attended the Festival of Hunting in an official capacity, as well as attending various puppy shows across the board. A few highlights... Beaufort hound exercised in early summer as the swallows dived down onto the hounds, the beautiful elegance of the Berkeley Hunt buildings, the morning light with the Avon Vale and Heythrop Hunts, and the snow with the Ludlow... But I also can't forget my local hunt - Kimblewick, my weekly visits to them on a Monday morning to kick start my week, spending most of the time just getting in the way. However I cannot thank them enough for showing me the way... In return, I think I have trained those gentlemen well when it comes to modelling and getting the right angle... The day when I said I would walk a hound puppy (Boffin) in the summer made my job somewhat harder, but one that I will never forget - he is one very special hound...
Not only have I been running around after animals, but also people... In Autumn, I had the pleasure of photographing Harkila's brand shoot on the Thimblesly Estate in North Yorkshire - another fantastic opportunity and insight into how these large scale companies run. I've been lucky enough to have my work featured in various magazines and newspapers, such as The Field, Horse and Hound, Shooting Times, Hounds Magazine, CountryLife, Farmers Weekly and The Telegraph, over the past year. Not only this, but I have also spoken to editors and contributors to these magazines and gained knowledge and insight into how they run. I also ran a stool at The Game Fair, marketing both myself and my brand to reach new audiences. A very valuable experience.
So what does 2022 hold? A little break! Taking photos has literally been my way of life over the last year, and something that has become my job in effect. I love it, but something 'too much of a good thing can be a bad thing' - so until March 2022! After then, the world is my oyster... Hopefully, I'll be at Cheltenham in March and Aintree in April, whilst also finishing off the trail hunting season. I cannot thank everyone enough for the support over the past year, and I cannot wait for the years to come!
Some of my favourite photos from 2021...
Nick Phillips, Kimble Point to Point, March 2021 | Joe Hill leading a string of horses, March 2021 | Lawrence Jordan and Flora Guy at Venetia Williams, January 2021
QIPCO Champion's Day - Jim Crowley and Baaeed, October 2021 | Magnolia Cup at Goodwood, July 2021 | Royal Ascot - Oisin Murphy and Alcohol Free, June 2021 |
Cheltenham Countryside Day - Racheal Blackmoore and Gin On Lime, November 2021 | Royal Ascot, June 2021 | Stratford Races - Lucy Turner, May 2021
Kimblewick walking out in the snow, December 2021 | Beaufort Autumn Hunting, September 2021 | VWH Huntsman at Festival of Hunting, July 2021
Berkeley on Hound Exercise, July 2021 | Beaufort Hound Exercise, June 2021 | Avon Vale Hound Exercise, May 2021
Sheffield Park PTP - James King and Master Sunrise, April 2021 | Haydon PTP at Hexham, May 2021 | Sponsored Jockey - Flora Guy and Tango de Juilley at Ffos Las, November 2021
Kimblewick Foxhounds Puppy, May 2021 | Kimblewick Huntsman and Hounds, December 2021 | Ludlow Kennel Huntsman and hounds in snow, January 2021
Mongewell Pheasant, April 2021 | Bix a 11 year old lab showing he's still got it, December 2021 | Wormsley Pheasant November 2021
And of course... Boffin appreciation...