A photographer originally from Kendal has won a special recognition award for the work he has done in his career.

Steve Radley was given the award by the Guild of Photographers at their annual dinner for his 'photography retreats'.

These retreats, called Soulful Vision, were founded in 2018 and combine the art of photography with mental wellbeing.

Steve, who is also an Anglican priest, said: "I served in the military as a chaplain with detachments to the Gulf and Afghanistan and I found photography helped me manage some of these experiences, which has led to the business I run today.

"I was blown away when my name was announced for the award - I was not expecting this in the least and from the hundreds of people there, I got a standing ovation, which moved me to tears."

The Westmorland Gazette: Steve was recognised for using his photography to help othersSteve was recognised for using his photography to help others (Image: Samantha Jayne Photography)

The Guild of Photographers comprises both professional and amateur photographers, and is one of the larger photography bodies representing the professional market in the UK.

The Special Recognition Award is given to people in the industry who have made a special and noteworthy contribution to photography.

Explaining the thoughts behind his work, Steve added: "My interest in mindfulness was sparked whilst studying for the MSc in psychiatry and war studies at Kings College London, which I later combined with my photography.

"Today I am a part time PhD student looking into trauma and photography, which I do alongside running some photography workshops."

Growing up in the Lake District helped inspire Steve, encouraging him to fall in love with the outside world and growing his passion for photography.

The Westmorland Gazette: The announcement of his victory took Steve by complete surpriseThe announcement of his victory took Steve by complete surprise (Image: Samantha Jayne Photography)

Whilst his experiences during conflicts pushed him towards confrontations with his own mental health, Steve is now using those lessons to help others.

"My hope is that through my work I help people see with renewed vision and imagination, discovering the wonder and beauty which is present in each of us and the places we inhabit," he said.

"I feel blessed to be a member and ambassador for them [the Guild of Photographers], and am truly humbled by this award."