Lily May Bartley is a photographer from Newham, a Fight for Peace member and Young Creative who has progressed leaps and bounds in developing her skills in order to turn her passion into a professional career.

Lily has worked alongside Fight for Peace to document many important moments including boxing and charity events, and shot and directed a series of images shining light on our community of North Woolwich back last year.

So we were thrilled to read this beautiful blog she wrote – sharing her journey as a photographer and why this form of storytelling is so special to her, particularly within the sporting area.

Growing up, I always found myself taking pictures of anything that appealed to me and caught my eye like buildings, sunsets and trees. I slowly made this a thing and found myself wanting to dive in deeper about photography and explore more with it. My parents kindly bought my first ever camera for me for my 21st birthday and I slowly started practising sports photography as I was a young person at Fight for Peace where I would spend a lot of time. 

Very rapidly I had found my feet and my dream of wanting to become a photographer had now come true!

Being a photographer is about capturing the world through your unique lens, revealing beauty in the ordinary and stories in the fleeting. With each click, you freeze moments that will never come again, turning them into timeless memories. A camera is a tool of expression, a passport to new perspectives. Through your lens, you have the power to evoke emotions, spark curiosity, and ignite change. Embrace the challenges, for they refine your craft. Embrace the art, for it fuels your soul. 

Photo: 99CLIQS

I love photography because it allows me to capture the world in a way that words cannot fully express. Through a camera lens, I find a profound connection to moments, places, and people, revealing hidden details and emotions that might otherwise go unnoticed. The act of framing a scene, adjusting settings, and waiting for the perfect light becomes a meditative and creative process that brings me joy and satisfaction. 

Photo: 99CLIQS

The lens becomes a window into the heart-pounding excitement of games, races, and matches, allowing viewers to relive the thrill and emotion of the moment. Behind every remarkable shot is a photographer with an acute sense of timing, an understanding of the sport’s nuances, and a dedication to storytelling through imagery. Sport photography not only celebrates human achievement but also offers a visual testament to the dedication, teamwork, and determination that define the world of sports.

Photo: 99CLIQS

Whether you frame grand landscapes or intimate portraits, your work has the potential to inspire, connect, and leave an indelible mark. So, keep chasing the light, composing your narrative, and painting with pixels. Embrace your role as a storyteller, a curator of memories, and a guardian of moments that will echo through time.”

More of Lily’s work can be experienced on her Instagram @99cliqs and via her website


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