As a semi-professional photographer, I am sometimes offered the opportunity to travel around the UK shooting various activities, mostly for website content. Davis, a school friend of mine who moved down to London contacted me recently and asked if I would travel down to his friend’s manor in Devon for a social shoot. Admittedly the word ‘manor’ stuck out more prominently than anything else, and despite the pay being just enough to cover travel, I resolved to join him for the weekend.
He told me that he and his friends were engaging in a series of weekend activities, and that they would like a photographer specifically for the clay pigeon shooting. I did a little prior research by visiting http://www.dayoutsouthwest.co.uk/ and searching for popular activities in the Devon area, taking note of the styles other photographers had used. Soon after, I searched for the manor, and then packed my things at the very next opportunity: it looked incredible. Even if the shooting didn’t go to plan, I would still have some excellent content on the surrounding area.
I felt a little awkward as Davis introduced me to the owner and his friends, but we were soon at ease after I explained some of the technicalities behind getting a good shot. They were impressed, but not as impressed as I was with the lodgings. For privacy reasons I have been asked not to disclose the location of the manor. I’d hardly call it difficult to find in the vast expanse of green fields, but be assured it is spectacular.
On the day of the clay pigeon shoot I had set up my gear, and despite the sunny weather messing with my lense, eagerly awaited the activity. I was getting good shots of his friends, but Davis seemed to be struggling with his stance and it was complicating the uniformed look of the row of shooters. I had read up on clay pigeon shooting tips prior to my journey South, and pausing the proceedings to correct my friend’s mistake solicited another good reaction from the lads. They definitely liked having a photographer around.
We did another shoot in Escot Gardens in the maze, turning it into a kid’s game much to my amusement. I hopped on the train Sunday afternoon and browsed through my shots as I travelled home. I was most satisfied with my shots of the landscape: the South West of England has some truly spectacular views, and the activities were excellent fun. There were plenty of families about all enjoying themselves, though I’m still not sure what they must have thought about grown men running around a garden maze.