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It goes without saying 2020 was a difficult year, the word unprecedented got used on a seemingly daily basis and other words entered our lexicon like furloughed, social-distancing and covidiot. We avoided seeing loved ones to keep them safe and sadly lost friends and family.

We saw how important not only the NHS and other care sector workers are but also that heroes come in many different guises. Some of us worked some of us lost work and we all clapped.

My work changed as the contracts and the normal PR / corporate work dried up and I moved towards taking pictures for the national press on spec. This year has seen me reconnect with the art of storytelling through pictures and being creative.

Here are some of my favourite pictures of 2020

The Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse the home of National Hunt racing, being held in the shadow of the Coronavirus (Corvid 19) outbreak. Crowds watch the first race and experience a gamut of emotions.

The crowds packed the stands at Cheltenham Racecourse in March 2020 they could have never imagined where we’d be months later. The idea of being this close to each other seems other worldly now.

Barry Geraghty kisses The Champion Hurdle trophy after winning the
feature race on Epatante.

As March gave in to April and Lockdown started I embraced homeschooling under the misconception that thing would all be back to normal in a few weeks. I think my epiphany came as I covered the May Day sunrise atop Painswick Beacon where morris dancers would normally dance to make sure the sun would rise. The start of summer however was seen in by a sole dancer, a representative of one of the morris troops to symbolically dance to ‘guarantee’ the sun would rise.

The sole dancer on top of Painswick Beacon, near Gloucester who dances to symbolic make the sun rise.

From that point on I was on the lookout for good news picture stories to send to the national papers, here are a few of my favourites.

The last picture I will share is from just before Christmas, its probably not the best picture I’ve taken in 2020 but I feel it has a special place because it is a picture of hope. This was the moment that an 89 year old lady got to see her 94 year old husband in his nursing home for the first time in nine months thanks to the homes excellent management of the covid situation and the introduction of the lateral flow fast acting covid tests.

Kath Price (89) was the first relative at Wentworth Court Nursing Home in Cheltenham to take the fast-track lateral flow antigen test and be reunited with her 94-year-old husband Eric after testing negative. The couple who will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary next March have spent nine months apart.

My last image is of hope and my last words are of hope too. I hope we continue to be kind to each other and stay safe and help our fellow citizens. I hope we keep some of the positives of the new normal and we get the country vaccinated as soon as possible. I look forward to telling more stories and hopefully making people smile with my pictures.