Working with animals certainly presents a few challenges. Unpredictability is perhaps the greatest of these. Chickens, pigs and cows don’t respond well to verbal instructions – so a bit of time has to go into preparation to ensure that the essential shots and surprise moments are all captured.
RSPCA Assured have hired me for many assignments over the years and understand what’s involved in doing a successful shoot on a farm. They’re very considerate and recently even sent a location pack for me to wear consisting of a fetching blue boiler suit and matching face mask. The protection is there for the animals to prevent them coming into contact with any diseases I may have on me! Unsurprisingly, every farm I go to is extremely cautious as animal welfare and farmer’s livelihood are at a constant risk from contamination.
RSPCA Assured has a team of assessors who check that farm animals are cared for to the strict welfare standards set by the RSPCA. To show their work and take their portraits I have, on occasion, asked them get into some very uncomfortable places. For assessors Sarah Cutler this meant being headbutted and licked by teenage bulls. For assessor Rio Mellor this meant being nuzzled and nibbled by boisterous piglets. What the pictures don’t show is that the animals are treating me with the same kind of fascination. Trying to steady my camera whilst being bitten by tiny incisors is a fairly unsettling affair – and I won’t mention what a cow’s lick can do to a lens!
RSPCA Assured use the images I take for a range of publications, banners, display stands, their website and social media. Some images are shot for specific campaigns and many will be held in stock for future needs.
For more information about my work with charities and farms, please get in touch. You can reach me on tel.: 07836 571145 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org