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which gave me great practical skills needed for building my own house and had a few other jobs, until the photography became more constant.” But in such a bespoke market, Richard says it’s been hard to get the best cows to photograph. “There’s a lot of emphasis on getting that stood shot right and many top line breeders will prefer to use the mainline photographers. As long as I continue a high standard of work in the industry, I am confident the work will come.” Alongside his photography work, Richard manages the clipping and presentation for all dairy dispersals in the north of England and Scotland for Harrison and Hetherington. “I tend to have two dedicated lads working with me and may even photograph cattle for catalogue use so it can be hectic work, but it provides another side to see just what cows are out there.” And it’s this knowledge of dairy cows that Richard feels is vital to his photography


work. “Livestock photography is so specialist that in order to get it right, you do have to have an understanding of the animal. When you’re working at a show and you know yourself when a cow is looking her best you can get that shot better than someone who perhaps doesn’t have that extra dairy knowledge.” Equally, Richard’s work is more than just getting the cow looking her best. Alongside the livestock photography work, he’s carved quite a career as a wedding photographer, so capturing the emotion from the show and sale ring is high on his priority list. Having bred, clipped, fitted and showed cattle from a young age, he’s well aware of the hard work, grit and determination that goes in to preparing a show team. “When I’m covering a show for a client, where possible I love to capture the pride on the halter from the breeder, owner or handler.” And although side shots are important in terms of marketing


dairy cattle, Richard does like to shoot more natural shots of cattle when on farm for pre-sale images. “Lately I’ve done a few jobs where stood shots were the order of the day, but location and the cattle themselves lend themselves better to more natural shots. If the photograph is right, that goes a long way to making the cow herself memorable, rather than a side shot that can easily be forgotten in a similar run of shots in a catalogue.” But it’s not just the location or the editing that makes the shot, a good cow will always photograph well. “For me if she’s got width, is well balanced, runs up hill and with a quality udder, she’ll look well in the shot.”


An example of this which will always stand out for Richard is Peak Goldwyn Rhapsody which won March Dairy Expo last year. “She’s known within the breed as ‘The Tank’ and is really easy to photograph because she is has so much width throughout,


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