Uckfield’s Local Lens – Judith Stewart Photography

For over a decade Judith Stewart and her family have called Uckfield home and she now truly champions the town’s beauty and charms as well its terrific community spirit.


Telling CommunityAd that on arrival to Uckfield back in 2010 the Stewart clan didn’t know a soul but soon settled in, Jude credits Uckfield’s Camera Club with that stating it “was a great way to meet like-minded people and get out and about with the camera and discover the local area”.


That local area came as a godsend to Jude in the dark days of lockdown, as she was, like many, forced to shut her business, Judith Stewart Photography. This meant her days were no longer filled with snapping babies, doggies and happy families in her studio, days Jude would fill by exploring and documenting the beauty of this part of the world.


“Fortunately, in Uckfield we have so many wonderful places to walk to locally, including Rocks Park Nature Reserve, beautiful Lakewood, Millennium Green, Victoria Park, Bothland Woods to name a few, so it was really easy to get out and about without travelling any distance. As a family with dogs, we walked every day and my camera was always in my hand, in the first few months of lockdown I kept a daily photographic diary of everyday family life during the lockdown.

“However, I also took the opportunity to go out alone with my camera when the subject required a little more time and patience, namely macro photography.  I loved nothing more than taking my camera out for a very slow walk-through fields or woodland whilst just looking around and capturing all the everyday things like buttercups, leaves, insects etc. that we normally just walk past, it is such a calming and reflective thing to do and I felt like a million miles away from everything else that was going on at the time. This process also really helps you to ‘see’ and capture the beauty and detail in the everyday things. You really don’t have to travel far for amazing photographic subjects.”


As wonderful as these lockdown snaps are, it’s brilliant that Jude’s back in the studio. It’s brilliant to see local businesses bouncing back, Jude thanks her clients a lot of whom didn’t cancel but postponed their pre-pandemic appointments, “my studio is back being busy again and my diary is looking healthy”. That is good news especially for the people who follow Judith Stewart Photography’s social media presence as the dog portraits are back in the news feed, much to my own personal delight.


In show business they say never work with children or animals but you seem to do extremely well with both, how do you it?

Oodles of energy. I have a huge amount of experience with both dogs and children and I tailor myself to get the best I can from the session. I love nothing more than getting everyone singing along to get little ones to relax and smile, but equally if I have a shy or anxious client, whether that be an adult, child or dog, I keep the session calm and unrushed. I want everyone to leave my studio having enjoyed the session. I think the key is to be adaptable and patient.


Jude leaves budding photographers with this bit of advice: “as well as checking out the army of YouTube tutorials that are available at the tips of your fingers, purchase a simple to understand reference handbook like ‘Digital Exposure ‘ by Ross Hoddinott and most importantly have some fun with it!

“Just remember, you don’t need to buy it all and I know the lure of a big camera can be strong, but cameras don’t take great photos, photographers do. The camera does not choose the important things like the composition, the framing, the light position, and a compelling subject. So, it doesn’t matter how great your camera is, it won’t take a great photo until you understand how to create one”.


To see more of Jude’s work or to book a session, go to the Judith Stewart Photography website or find her Facebook @judithStewartPhotography.

by Dave McKenna

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