Learning from Dad

Lloyd Belcher is a Hong Kong-based outdoor photographer with high-profile clients such as Lululemon, Salomon, The North Face - even SisuGirls! His 14-year-old daughter, Anya, has a keen interest in photography and regularly joins her Dad on photoshoots. In this post he shares a story about the time she outshone him. 

I was commissioned to do some promotional photo assignments with The North Face in Hong Kong. For these assignments, I was working with Vlad Ixel, an accomplished TNF ultra running athlete based in Hong Kong. I was buzzing as I was given the space to develop ‘out of the box’ ideas and broke away from the typical trail settings that usually go hand in hand with ultra runner athletes. One of the locations we settled on was in the heart of Mong Kok - one of the most densely populated places on the planet, and the kind of urban setting I wanted to capture. 

I asked my 14-year-old daughter Anya to come along and help. She would watch traffic while I lay in the middle of Argyle Road in Mong Kok shooting, plus keep an eye on my equipment. I also asked her to take any ‘behind the scenes’ shots and, if she wanted, to have a go at capturing Vlad in action. I have taken Anya on a few commercial shoots as an ‘apprentice’ as she is keen to develop the craft of photography & has started to show a flair for capturing images.

The shoot went well and I was pleased with what I captured. I returned home with Anya, went though the images shot from the day and picked out the top shots then prepared them for The North Face to consider. A few days passed and I looked through the images that Anya had taken on the Fujifilm. There were some catching behind the scenes shots, but there was one image that caught my eye and that was of Vlad running through a back alley. A tricky shot in low light that Anya had shot in manual. I posted it on Instagram as part of a collage of behind the scenes shots from the shoot and the feedback confirmed what I thought about the image.

Shortly after posting the collage on Instagram, I received an email from Tim Sedo [The North Face, Regional Marketing Manager] telling me they had seen the image of Vlad posted on Instagram and liked it a lot. They had no idea that Anya has taken this shot and thought it was one of mine. And so here is how the email exchange went:

And so, that’s the story of how an image taken by a 14-year-old ended up being selected by The North Face for a promotional campaign. I wish I had taken a photo of Anya’s reaction when I told her the good news.

Here it is: The image taken by Anya and selected by The North Face Hong Kong.

tnf pic.jpg

The message? Creative young people, particularly when it comes to the outdoors, should not be limited by their age.

 Anya working hard snapping hong kong sisu girls in action in october

Anya working hard snapping hong kong sisu girls in action in october

The original version of this post was published on the Lloyd Belcher Visuals website. 

Lloyd Belcher is a Hong Kong-based self-taught photographer and film maker who specialises in sports photography and short film documentaries. His photography work includes commissioned assignments for a range of clients including sporting brands and events. His short film piece  ‘The Most Beautiful Thing’ was selected to be screened as part of the Trails in Motion Film Festival World Tour 2014 and ‘More Than A Race’ [released in May 2014] was screened on Cathay Pacific Airways flights. He is currently working on post-production for ‘Mira Rai’, a documentary film that follows the journey of a spirited Nepali village girl on her pursuit to being a world-recognised mountain runner. 



Anya Belcher is Lloyd's 14-year-old daughter. She loves the outdoors like her dad, and can often be seen with a camera in hand (also like her dad). 

Rachel Jacqueline