Laying on the grass in the summer sunshine, watching and photographing my Pekin bantams raise their chicks – that was my Summer ’06!
As well as documenting the chicks free ranging in the garden, I photographed them in a makeshift studio that I set up in my conservatory! Constituting of a white sheet draped over a chair facing towards the windows, I let the chicks be themselves and show off their characters.
In the spring I had decided to quit becoming an electrician (I passed the first year, but it wasn’t me in the slightest!) and was lucky enough to be accepted into Lewes College to do Photography, Business Studies, Critical & Contextual Studies of Art and Media Studies. I had seriously itchy feet to get my photography started and quickly realised how fun and entertaining the chicks were and that I could capture this with my camera.
From the age of 12 I had been a keen photographer, winning prizes at a local Photography Competition and turning my camera to anything and everything in my garden. Photography was a true passion and the arrival of the chicks in 2006 provided the perfect subjects to photograph throughout the summer.
‘Helen the Hen’ became the star of the show when I decided to photograph her every day for the first 21 days of her life, including as she hatched from her egg. The result was a fantastic look (if I do say so myself!) at the speed in which a chick’s feathers grow. During this project we became quite close and she was far more confident around humans than the other bantams, jumping up whenever we had tea and biscuits in the garden or running over to our feet when we had scraps from the kitchen. Sadly she passed away last year, but she lives on through her gorgeous chicks who now bring pleasure to so many other families as we sold them on.