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Hawk Conservancy Trust photoshoot with Chris Packham

Updated: Jan 14, 2020

The great thing about my job is the variety... every time the phone rings I'm presented with a new and exciting challenge. When the phone rang on this occasion I was required to journey down to the Hawk Conservancy Trust in Hampshire and take some behind-the-scenes filming stills and headshots for Rough Guides and the Motability Vehicle Scheme.

Chris Packham

Rough Guide has recently compiled an accessibility guide to Great Britain: an inclusive guide to Britain's attractions which take great care to cater for everyone... especially those who face physical and mental health challenges.


TV naturalist Chris Packham is an ambassador for the project and would be shooting some film pieces to promote the guide and I had been asked along to capture some behind-the-scenes stills as well as some PR headshots.

Filming with Chris Packham

Before each scene Chris got together with the production crew to establish the key message and, ever the pro, would compose the piece on-the-fly whilst shooting. I was photographing with a couple of Fujis on the day and luckily my trusty X-T2 has a silent electronic shutter - allowing me to take photos whilst filming was in progress - somehow I don't think the loud crunch of a mechanical shutter would have been too welcome when picked up over microphones!

Snowy Owl at Hawk Conservancy Trust

Next, the filming team went off to capture some of the outdoor bird displays leaving me and Chris some time to take headshots. I then joined the the film crew to see birds swooping low and entertaining the crowds by catching lures - an amazing sight.


Filming with Chris continued after the bird displays when he was joined by a group of vultures. These were incredibly tame and could be fed by hand - they were also incredible cheeky and took every opportunity to brevet through unattended bags and coat pockets on the hunt for food!

Vulture face
Filming with vultures
Chris and a friendly vulture

That was all the time we had with Chris and so I just had time to take some final stills of him roaming the paths of the attraction.

Walking the paths
Sat on patio tables

The final set-up of the day saw us poised to capture a couple of owls (Grey- and Eagle-) as they took bait from a gloved hand. These huge birds fly near-silently and their out-stretched wings make for a real site as they come in to perch.

With these shots in the can (/ memory card) we wrapped for the day!

Grey owl
Owl on a gloved hand

For more information about the Hawk Conservancy Trust visit:

See more about the Rough Guide to Accessible Britain - and download your free copy - here:

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