I was recently commissioned to shoot a set of images for my friend John Kirtley who owns Riverside Falconry at Newburn.

John is associated with Blue Wolf Travel and Altai Falconry who are based in Mongolia.

John wants to establish a stronger relationship as he has been offered a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel to Mongolia because of their mutual interest in Golden Eagles.

So, with this in mind I spoke to Zia who lives a few doors away down my street as she originates from Mongolia.

I saw her passing my door one day and casually asked her if she liked Golden Eagles, she smiled politely and said yes of course who doesn’t like Golden Eagles. I asked her if she would like to help me with an idea I had towards helping John build his relationship with eagle handlers who live in Mongolia.

In addition to this, Blue Wolf Travel are also hoping to attract tourism to Mongolia once travel bans are lifted and the experts at Altai Falconry are deemed some of the best in the world at what they do with training birds.

From my point of view I saw this as another example of ‘thinking outside of the box’ and a perfect opportunity to get creative in my studio. Zia is a beautiful young lady and it’s not every day you get to photograph a Golden Eagle in your studio.

So, I used one of my favourite backdrops from click as it gives that perfect perception of clouds and added drama. I used my Elinchrom ELC 1000 as my key light and an additional two lights which were the Elinchrom 500 and an Elinchrom ELB 500. I love my lights, they can fulfil all my ambitious ideas with perfection.

To get the very best feel for the session Alexandra who operates AJ Edgar Artist, whom I trust completely and work very closely with in my studio with created the perfect make up look for the session.

I also asked Zia to bring some of her traditional clothing to make everything look authentic and I was thrilled with the way that all came together!

I thrive on creative sessions like this one as it helps to showcase our combined talents.

So, I would dearly like thank everyone involved and I hope John eventually gets to travel to Mongolia and fulfil one of this personal ambitions.

I think that the photos are something special… how about you?

Joe xx