Why being a professional photographer can have humbling experiences.

event photography
The finish line

It’s 7am as I drive into the field being used as a huge car park at Hever Castle in Kent. The weather is not the best, typically English with swathes of grey cloud cover, and it leaves a fresh, cold feeling on your body.

There are campers from the night before that are rising and other competitors just arriving through the main gate. I motion towards the exit on the far side of the field and move to the event course. There are plenty of signs with arrows on directing you towards the target, good job, you could easily get lost in the ample grounds around here.

I’m here to capture the Triathlon event for the Team Phoenix group where I have been lucky enough to have been commissioned to visually document the Triathlon event by Team Phoenix [www.teamphoenixfoundation.co.uk] for the last four years in a row.


I was dressed accordingly in trainers to be able to keep up with the team as they moved about the course. I carried all the gear I needed in a photo messenger type bag as the types of situational shots change from moment to moment.

A professional photographer usually prefers to carry more equipment with them than they will ever need for a given shoot and regret it after but that is the nature of the beast.

Most pro gear is on heavy side and will obviously takes its toll on the back and shoulder of any photographer at some point especially when moving fast around the course of an event the size of this one.

I meet up with the team over by the registration tent and it’s nice to see familiar faces from the previous years with the addition of girls that I do not recognize who have volunteered to take part.

I am already taking pictures as I move in amongst the team who are queueing to give their name at the register desk. I feel the adrenalin immediately kick in after a few clicks of the shutter button and my passion for photography then produces all the natural energy I need for the day ahead.  I know that first click of the shutter button is the first of probably over a thousand more clicks I will shoot during the day.

If you are not familiar with the triathlon it is an event that includes three objectives [obviously], swimming, cycling and running. These 3 activities take place over a large distance and the swimming is done in the nearby Hever Castle lake. I know, it doesn’t bear thinking about does it, so even more Kudos to the competitors who take part.

The triathlon usually starts with the swimming, then the cycling and ends with the long run to the finish line. I am briefed on the kinds of images that team phoenix need me to capture for their promotional paraphernalia once the event is finished.

I must say that being around this group of amazing women for a day capturing this event is an incredible experience and one I am very grateful for as it gives you an opportunity to witness and capture the raw emotion on show and to see the human spirit in all its glory.


[The photograph in this blog is a great example as the girls cross the finishing line and the emotions just come flooding out.]

Sometimes in life something or someone humbles you, they make you realize that you are not quite as important or good as you thought you were and certainly leaves a mark on you that you can carry into your day to day experiences moving forward.

This event gives a photographer many opportunities to tell stories through capturing the action with potentially powerful pictures but at the same time Team Phoenix is a business and they fully understand the importance of having professional images in their library with which to market their brand through their website, magazine articles and social media campaigns.

It’s a good idea to work very closely with your event photographer to get the best shots of your event. It does help to prepare a brief for the photographer detailing the best shots you will need for your future marketing strategies. Communication with the photographer is key if you want to capture the most important moments of the event. 

If you would like a free consultation to discuss working together then please contact me. Email: al@alfrankmonkphotography.uk

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