/ Documentary images of climbers

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12Holds 09 Jan 2020

Hi everyone!

I'm new to the forums but I think this might be the right place to post about this.

I am freelance photographer by trade and currently steering my portfolio more towards the direction I want to head in. My personal work is very documentary/observational based and I would really like to capture a few photo stories on climbing.

I have been bouldering for a couple of years after coming back from a shoulder injury and currently bouldering indoors at Stronghold. I also top rope and recently did my first outdoor lead climbs in Nice last year.

I'm looking for any groups that might fancy me tagging along on some (preferably) outdoor climbs to capture the day. This could be bouldering, sport or trad. I'm pretty open at the mo as I am just starting the project. I want to capture good shots of the climbs but also and possibly more importantly the details. Kit prep and racking, lunch, rest, sore fingers, taping up etc and the social part of it. It would be all documentary so just doing what you do while I mill around with a camera.

I might consider indoor stuff as well although it can sometimes be an issue with the centre and photography.

This is personal work so I'm not being commissioned or paid but happy to give everyone copies of some nice shots of their climbing and so on. Or if you're a climbing centre/business and your staff want to be involved you could use images for your social/web etc.

I'm based over in East London but travel/drive around to shoot.

My website is www.BenHughesPhotography.com although it is my slightly more commercial work on there.

Anyway, if anyone may be interested and just wanted to know more let me know.

Apologies if this is always being asked

Mick Ward 09 Jan 2020
In reply to 12Holds:

Hi Ben,

Given your location, Portland would be an obvious venue. One option is to tag along with a group going down from London for the weekend. I think there are such groups from the major London walls (and surrounding areas, e.g. Reading). If you look on Youtube, you'll see little documentary videos of visits, which might give you ideas. Perhaps responses on here will alert you to such groups.

Alternatively there are Facebook groups such as Dorset climbers and the Aloft Climbers (based in Weymouth). Generally you'll find climbers pretty sympathetic and easygoing. For some climbing shots, it might be necessary to have some ability in jumaring/abseiling, to look across at people. This isn't rocket science but you do need to learn it thoroughly - and be super-careful at all times. To state the obvious, safety always comes first!

Good luck.


12Holds 09 Jan 2020
In reply to Mick Ward:

Sounds like a good start Mick, I'll have a look around for any signs of groups at my walls.

I was hoping to make a trip to Portland some time this side of summer as it happens.

Most definitely wont be shooting from ropes until I am fully used to abseiling, no worries there. Safety is indeed first up.


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