Lynn photographer in the spotlight

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So often the face behind the camera, Ian Burt, is the latest person to answer his old colleague and friend Gavin Caney’s questions in this week’s Your Local Paper Question and Answer columnThe facts are…Name: Ian BurtDate of birth: July 4, 1977Birthplace: King’s Lynn Grew up in: HunstantonSecondary school: Smithdon Previous newspapers worked for: Lynn News (2002-04) and Eastern Daily Press (2004-18)Current role: Freelance photographer Sporting hero: Have had quite a few over the years but Russ Cook’s effort running the length of Africa recently was incredibleTwitter: @Ian_Burt Fast factsIan’s dad Michael received the first beating heart transplant in this country at Papworth Hospital, Cambridge, in 2006. Mr Burt senior was 58 at the time and told the press he could have died within months without a transplant ‘Burty’ and his wife Rebecca met at school and have been together for 29 years. They have two boys, Freddie and Calum, and a dog called TillyWhen Burt is not behind the lens he loves cooking. Most nights he can be found in the kitchen rustling up an evening meal. His signature dishes include lasagne and curry He has been a professional photographer for 25 years and now freelances for several organisations, including Your Local Paper Quickfire Questions (answers in build)Restaurant or takeaway?Film or series?Bath or shower?Tea or coffee?Sweet or savoury?Summer or winter?Day or night?Holiday or staycation?Favourite food: Roast beef or a good steakLeast favourite: PiccalilliFavourite TV programme: The GentlemenLeast favourite: Haven’t really got oneFavourite band/musician: Oasis and anything like thatLeast favourite: Stuff my kids listen to which I don’t understand!Favourite film: Die HardLeast favourite: Horror films, I hate themWhat were you interested in first? Sport or photography? And what were your earliest memories of both?I played football as a kid for Heacham Minors so that’s what I was most interested in. I never had a real passion for taking photos of any sort, although I did have a little camera as a teenager.I did a fine art degree at uni and that was the first time I started to lean more towards photography. I specialised in the subject in the final year which made me realise how much I loved taking photos.I went for a job as a photographer at the Lynn News about a year after leaving uni and got it. I’d been taking portrait photos but I wasn’t experienced in working for newspapers.However, I went to cover the speedway in King’s Lynn, hit a cracker of a photo of all four riders going into the first turn as the chalk dust kicked up, and went from there.It made a really great picture and my skills and passion have continued to develop since.Talk us through photographing a game of football. Give us an insight into the prep, what happens there and, crucially, what happens afterwards?Being prepared is crucial. You need to make sure all your batteries are charged, you have your memory cards and all the other equipment you need – all the way down to the seat you will sit on.I normally have three cameras with me for all matches; one for wide just in case, mid-length and a long lens for tight action.I mainly use the long lens throughout the game but do need to switch my cameras up depending upon where the action is unfolding in front of me.Filing during the game, which is where you’re sending photos across ahead of a print deadline, can be challenging especially if another crucial moment happens at the same time that you’re sending photos across.Is there a sport you enjoy photographing the most and why? And what’s the most difficult?My favourites are football, speedway and rugby. Football is the thing I love the most, I’m a huge fan so it is a privilege to photograph games.Being inside the track at the speedway makes the action so much faster and not many people get the opportunity to be on the centre green. The action also creates brilliant photos.Rugby is a brutal sport and with a long lens on you can capture some of the impact really well. There’s lots of bodies, plenty of action and the images always hold up well.Rink hockey has to be the most challenging. It’s insanely quick and the light isn’t great because it’s played indoors.The ball is moved so quickly around the pitch that you can lose track of where it’s gone. Over time I’ve got used to it though and it’s become second nature to get the ball in the frame too.What’s the most challenging thing about being behind the lens and shooting live sport?I hate covering up everything when it rains. It just makes things really awkward. You’re hiding under a cover to make sure the equipment doesn’t get wet but it makes it more difficult to see what’s going on.You also wouldn’t want your cameras, especially, to get absolutlely soaked as it wouldn’t do it much good and as any photographer will tell you, the equipment isn’t cheap.Sometimes things happen at the opposite end to where you’re sitting as well but that’s just part and parcel of the job.What tips would you give for anyone looking to forge a photography career?Make sure you build up good relationships with people. You can be the best photographer in the world but treating people in a good way and being friendly is just as important.Technically, people should spend some time getting used to the settings on their camera so they know what suits them best.The more you shoot a certain subject, like football, the better you get at it. It takes a while to get your eye in, even for us after a few months away during pre-season. Players get rusty, but so do photographers!If you had to choose one standout moment, or experience, in your career of snapping sport, what would it be and why?Gashy’s (Michael Gash) winner for King’s Lynn Town at Warrington in the super play-off final in 2019.He wheeled away straight towards me, but it wasn’t actually me he was running towards, his wife and children were right behind me!It was one of those moments you never forget and I’m glad I got his reaction on camera.Being a photographer has given me a front-row seat at a load of memorable sporting occasions such as King’s Lynn Stars’ trip to Poland in the World Speedway League.You’ll have done thousands of news picture jobs over the years for newspapers too. How is life treating you as a freelancer and what sort of work do you do regularly now?Really good. I built up a lot of contacts in my time at the EDP which has helped. Tibbsy (Paul Tibbs) and I also have a school photography business which is going well.It’s still nice taking photos for newspapers too and getting out and about locally.Finally, you’ve come out from behind the lens to get involved with youth football coaching. How did that opportunity come about and how rewarding has that been?I think it’s the same for any grassroots coach. Your child is in the team and not many people want to do the coaching! It’s time consuming but really enjoyable.Our Woottons team are u15s now, I’ve been with them since they were u7s, and they are a great group.

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