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Photographer captures the essence of Cumbrian farming

Based mostly simply exterior of Kendal, on the sting of the Lake District, farmer and photographer Amy Bateman has gained nationwide renown for her pictures.

Discovering her love, and expertise, for capturing the essence of life on her household’s 365ha Cumbrian beef and sheep farm, she has made it her mission to inform the tales of the area’s farmers, and the landscapes they so tirelessly have a tendency, via her lens.

See additionally: Farmers Weekly Images Competitors now open for entries

After coaching as a physiotherapist in Newcastle and shifting to London in her twenties, Amy admits to rising sick of metropolis life.

She made the choice to maneuver north, the place she met her two loves – husband, Colin, and the long-lasting Cumbrian landscapes.

By no means a stranger to farming, Amy’s grandparents had a farm in Yorkshire, which was later offered, however regardless of this she has at all times been related to rural life.

Sheep stood between two sections of drystone wall

© Amy Bateman

After shifting north, she continued working as a physiotherapist till the couple’s three daughters got here alongside, however with the price of childcare and alter in life-style, she made the choice to surrender her personal follow to take care of the little ones and work on the farm.

Amy explains that pictures began as a passion.

“I wanted one thing extra for me,” she admits. “I bought a small DSLR digital camera and began capturing our life on the farm.

“I had no person to share the images with, so I started placing them on social media via Twitter and coming into just a few competitions.

“I had a whole lot of success in a short time, which is extremely motivating.”

one, horned sheep in the hills

© Amy Bateman

In 2019, Amy was named the British Life Photographer of the 12 months, after taking a self-portrait photograph that confirmed her feeding the lambs.

She says: “It was actually fulfilling as a result of I’m very obsessed with British agriculture; telling these tales and placing them on the market, getting the behind-the-scenes lives of farmers into the face of the general public in a method snapping in your telephone simply can’t do.

“When that {photograph} received, I used to be simply so satisfied that it was an image of agriculture, and that it was placing farming in entrance of a brand new viewers.”


“Once I received that, we sat down and we knew that subsidies have been going to be diminished after Brexit.

“We wrote a marketing strategy about how we’d attempt to diversify the farm, and we determined to make use of me because the farm diversification,” she explains.

Based mostly on the farm, and utilizing two different native farms, Amy now runs a spread of pictures workshops and holidays, having transformed a steady right into a studio and, most lately, welcomed the addition of glamping pods in order that skilled and novice photographers alike can keep on web site.

Photographers are capable of spend the day touring the farm, capturing the essence of farming and the area’s distinctive landscapes, with shepherds and collies at work.

“They get to see rural life shut up and peek behind the workings of a busy upland sheep farm,” she says.

“They go away with enhanced pictures expertise and a greater understanding of farming life.”

Sheep being fed

© Amy Bateman

The Forty Farms mission

Maybe Amy Bateman’s biggest and most cherished mission so far, Forty Farms is the results of a 12-month mission to inform the tales of 40 farms, and farmers, throughout Cumbria.

The e book, which is an enduring legacy of the mission, depicts the area’s various landscapes and the faces behind the farms.

It was launched final 12 months and has already been an unlimited success, with greater than 10,000 copies offered.

“For Forty Farms, I wished the start of each chapter to have a portrait of the farmers in order that if you end up studying their narrative you may visualise the individuals and picture them speaking to you,” Amy explains.

“I believe it’s actually necessary to attach the readers with the tales, the farmers and the individuals.”

Amy makes use of her pictures as a device to achieve new audiences and promote the “farm-to-fork” journey from her personal farm, in addition to the broader trade.

She says: “What I’ve actually loved by making the e book is with the ability to educate individuals about how landscapes are managed, and the way we will produce meals whereas caring for the landscapes, in addition to with the ability to inform the tales of people that don’t usually get their voices heard to a brand-new viewers.

“The individuals who come to exhibitions and choose up this coffee-table e book should not essentially the individuals who see these photographs on social media.”

To accompany the e book, an exhibition of Amy’s pictures was launched at Rheged in Penrith, which attracted greater than 60,000 guests.  

“They’ve bought an attractive gallery which we full of Forty Farms. The suggestions was extraordinary.

“We had double the variety of individuals they’d ever had at an exhibition earlier than over the course of the three months it was there.

“The show then moved on to Windermere Jetty, and we had one other 40,000 guests there.”

What’s subsequent?

For the primary time, the exhibition is because of transfer out of Cumbria, when it is going to be displayed within the Meals Museum in Stowmarket, Suffolk.

“It will be actually attention-grabbing to see how it’s acquired as a result of, in fact, it’s based mostly on Cumbria,” Amy explains.

“Nevertheless, the relatability throughout all the 40 farms and the geology of Cumbria means we’ve bought the excessive peaks of the upland farms, we’ve bought the salt marshes, and the fertile planes within the Eden Valley, so a complete vary of farms is represented.”

Past this, Amy hopes to carry the exhibition to London to share the narratives with a fair wider viewers. “We’ve bought to get it into London by some means,” she says.

“These are actually necessary tales they usually need to be advised. They need to be on the market.”



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