Britain’s most decorated press photographer, Mike Maloney, OBE made history when he was given permission to take a group of amateur photographers on a two-hour shoot in the Great Chamber of the House of Lords on Saturday 13th February 2010.
This unique event was sponsored by the world famous London-based Nikon-only shop Grays of Westminster and hosted by Britain’s highest decorated press photographer, Mike Maloney, with the permission of Black Rod - a senior officer in the House of Lords, responsible for security, controlling access to and maintaining order within the House and its precincts.
The photographers attending competed to win a Nikon D300s camera worth £1,600 – to be awarded to the attendee who takes the best shot of the day, and the opportunity for the top images to be used by the House of Lords Works of Art Committee.
The attendees submitted three of their favourite photographs and the judges, led by Mike Maloney - who were looking for those which displayed originality and which visualised a unique perspective, making their images stand out from the rest – then chose the winners:
- Andrew Downes
- David Blundell
- Diana Church
- Michael Curtis
- Susan Forester
The proceedings of the day came to a conclusion with a 3-course dinner at Elena's Etoile Restaurant in Charlotte Street, London where there was a presentation of the winning images and awards which included a Nikon D300s for the winner, kindly donated by Nikon UK.
“To have been invited to work with Mike Maloney on this very special photographic occasion at the House of Lords was indeed an extraordinary honour during this, our 25th Anniversary Year,
” said Gray Levett, founder of Grays of Westminster.
Mike Maloney also commented on the event: “This was an historic moment in photography. It had never happened before and it is unlikely that it will ever happen again.
Over the years, Grays of Westminster has organized a number of similarly unique events and photo shoots including a 2-week tour of Japan with a visit to the Nikon factory, and a trip to Nikon Thailand and Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Grays of Westminster is currently celebrating its twenty-fifth year of business.
Mike Maloney has won over 100 major photographic awards and is the only “Fleet Street” photographer to have been awarded the OBE for services to photojournalism. Three times-voted Press Photographer of the year, he was Chief Photographer for Mirror Group Newspapers before turning freelance in 2002. He also has numerous Royal tours to his credit, as well as photographing world leaders like Clinton, Reagan, Gorbachev and Yeltsin with resulting invitations to dine at both The White House and the Kremlin.
A report on the workshop that includes photos of the event plus the winning shots can be seen in the Grays of Westminster