As I, Hamlet, the managing director of United National Photographers, sit here in the vast quiet of our office, I’m reminded that the pulse of our photo agency lies not within these walls today, but out there with our freelance photographers. They are the ones out in the field, lenses at the ready, capturing moments for press and PR that keep the heart of our enterprise beating. Our editorial team, the unsung heroes who usually curate these captured slices of life, have momentarily traded their critical eye for the thrill of the Black Friday hunt.
Press or PR photography image taken by a freelance photographer to support a news or marketing material.

©UNP www.unp.co.uk 0845 600 7737 Press or PR photography image taken by a freelance photographer to support a news or marketing material.

Hence, with our freelancers diligently working on commissions, our editorial staff has granted themselves a reprieve – a lunch hour stretched into an afternoon, perhaps even a day for some, to navigate the sea of sales. “Shop till you drop,” they said, a mantra for the day, leaving their usual posts for the promise of once-a-year deals. It’s an unusual quiet that’s settled over UNP – a calm sea after a bustling storm of activity.
I remain, the sole guardian of this silent sanctum, musing over the dedication of our field photographers who continue the work uninterrupted, their commitment unwavering even as the retail world turns upside down with discounts and deals. Perhaps next year, we at UNP might just ride the wave of Black Friday, offering our own deals. But for now, I await the return of my team, eager to hear of their exploits and to welcome back the familiar symphony of our bustling office life.

When UNP commissioned freelance photographer Mark Bickerdike to cover Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s visit to RAFA Kidz Leeming, it was more than a routine assignment. This event at the RAF station near Northallerton was a unique convergence of high-profile political presence, military family life, and the nuanced world of press photography.

Press or PR photography image taken by a freelance photographer to support a news or marketing material.

Sedgefield, United Kingdom. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak North Yorkshire Visit. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visiting the RAFA Kidz Nursery at RAF Leeming, North Yorkshire.
Photo: ©Mark Bickerdike / UNP www.unp.co.uk pictures@unp.co.uk
Phone(+44) 0845 600 7737 / 01943884941 / 07771765646
United National Photographers Ltd.

The photographic agency UNP and freelance photographer Mark Bickerdike expressed great satisfaction upon discovering that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak used their photographs on his official website. This recognition not only highlighted the quality of their work but also the importance of press and PR photography in conveying significant public events. During his visit to RAFA Kidz Leeming, Prime Minister Sunak engaged with children of military personnel and key nursery workers, immersing himself in the activities and facilities that make the nursery a cornerstone of support for RAF families. His participation in play activities and his visit to the Kidz Club facilities, as captured in Bickerdike’s photographs, were prominently featured, illustrating the day’s events and the nursery’s vital role in the community

RAFA Kidz Leeming, a childcare facility dedicated to serving the families of military personnel, was celebrating its one-year anniversary. The facility, known for its comprehensive childcare services, including wraparound care and support for children with special educational needs, was the backdrop for this significant visit.

For a news photographer like Bickerdike, the event presented both challenges and opportunities. The presence of the Prime Minister at a sensitive military location meant heightened security. Capturing the essence of the visit, while navigating these constraints, required not just technical skill but also a keen sense of timing and perspective.

Press or PR photography image taken by a freelance photographer to support a news or marketing material.

Sedgefield, United Kingdom. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak North Yorkshire Visit. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visiting the RAFA Kidz Nursery at RAF Leeming, North Yorkshire.
Photo: ©Mark Bickerdike / UNP www.unp.co.uk pictures@unp.co.uk
Phone(+44) 0845 600 7737 / 01943884941 / 07771765646
United National Photographers Ltd.

Mark Bickerdike’s lens focused on various facets of the day. From the Prime Minister’s interactions with the children and nursery staff to his engagement with RAF Association representatives, each photograph told a story. The essence of media coverage photography is not just about capturing a moment but about telling the story behind it.

Nick Bunting, Secretary General for the Royal Air Forces Association, highlighted the importance of RAFA Kidz in his speech. Bickerdike’s photographs captured these earnest moments, emphasizing the nursery’s role in addressing the childcare needs of RAF families.

Press or PR photography image taken by a freelance photographer to support a news or marketing material.

Sedgefield, United Kingdom. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak North Yorkshire Visit. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visiting the RAFA Kidz Nursery at RAF Leeming, North Yorkshire.
Photo: ©Mark Bickerdike / UNP www.unp.co.uk pictures@unp.co.uk
Phone(+44) 0845 600 7737 / 01943884941
Photo: ©Marke Bickerdike / UNP www.unp.co.uk pictures@unp.co.uk
Phone(+44) 0845 600 7737 / 01943884941 / 07771765646
United National Photographers Ltd.

The Prime Minister’s visit was more than a ceremonial appearance; it was a nod to the Government’s commitment to supporting service families. Mark’s photography underscored this narrative, showcasing moments of genuine interaction and the Prime Minister’s acknowledgment of the RAF community’s contributions and challenges.

As a freelance photographer, Bickerdike’s role was crucial in conveying the essence of this event to a broader audience. His images needed to transcend the typical press coverage and resonate with both the immediate community at RAF Leeming and the wider public.

Press or PR photography image taken by a freelance photographer to support a news or marketing material.

Sedgefield, United Kingdom. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak North Yorkshire Visit. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visiting the RAFA Kidz Nursery at RAF Leeming, North Yorkshire.
Photo: ©Mark Bickerdike / UNP www.unp.co.uk pictures@unp.co.uk
Phone(+44) 0845 600 7737 / 01943884941 / 07771765646
United National Photographers Ltd.

In the world of press and news photography, events like these are not just assignments; they are a testament to the photographer’s ability to weave a narrative through images. Mark Bickerdike’s work at RAFA Kidz Leeming exemplified this, blending the elements of news, emotion, and storytelling into a compelling visual narrative.

The photographs not only documented this important visit but also highlighted the facility’s crucial role in providing comprehensive childcare and support to military families, as noted by Cobseo, the Confederation of Service Charities.

This coverage by Mark Bickerdike for UNP highlights the crucial role of freelance and press photographers in documenting significant moments and bringing them to the forefront of public awareness.

Press or PR photography image taken by a freelance photographer to support a news or marketing material.

Sedgefield, United Kingdom. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak North Yorkshire Visit. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visiting the RAFA Kidz Nursery at RAF Leeming, North Yorkshire.
Photo: ©Marke Bickerdike / UNP www.unp.co.uk pictures@unp.co.uk
Phone(+44) 0845 600 7737 / 01943884941 / 07771765646
United National Photographers Ltd.

For more on this story and to view the photographic coverage, visit www.unp.co.uk.