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On Entering Awards

Bringing it Home : Behind the scenes with Lynne Cameron

We caught up with AOP member Lynne Cameron to hear about her work with a team you may have heard of – the 2022 European Football Champions the Lionesses.

In addition to our questions, Lynne shares details of a few of her favourite images as featured in the gallery below.

AOP: Can you describe your involvement with the Lionesses to date?

I have been the official Lioness photographer for 4 1/2 years documenting each step of the journey from World Cup to She Believes , changes in managers and Covid challenges. Previously i worked as team photographer at Rangers FC , Scottish Rugby and Manchester City as well as freelance in camp contracts with The Red Roses and Manchester United Women.

From your images they seem very comfortable in your presence – what is it like documenting the day-to-day activities of the team?

For me this is the ultimate compliment of my photography so thank you ! I pride myself on having the players trust – for me this is key. The relationship i have with the players allows them to not worry about my presence in their inner sanctum and concentrate on the job of high-performance sport. One of the nicest things is that over the years even when I wasn’t the team photographer I was involved in women’s football so I have captured some of the players from 14 or 15 years old and now to see them winning the Euros is just so wonderful.

What is the biggest challenge in photographing behind the scenes in this way?

Not getting in the way of the football – it is important to not be a distraction.

Is the Team’s enthusiasm as infectious as we imagine?

I hope that you can also see this from my images – the players are top class athletes but more than that they are amazing human beings. They are a true inspiration and I always feel privileged being able to capture their personalities. Their love for the game and being part of the Lionesses is indeed infectious and makes my job pretty easy!

As the team’s official photographer for the past four years, I have captured all the highs and lows of our history-making Lionesses. Never before have I seen the players so elated than when they won the Euros on Sunday night to seal English football’s first major trophy in 56 years.

During matches, I concentrate on the job at hand: capturing the goals, the celebrations and getting a flavour of what’s happening. Off the pitch, I do my best to blend into the background, documenting all the action behind the scenes with a relaxed approach.

Here are some of my favourite shots that I’ve taken of England before, during and after their momentous Euros campaign.

[PLAYERS PUTTING THEIR BOOTS ON]

This one was taken in the boot room at St George’s Park during the team’s prep camp ahead of the tournament. They would have had their physio and medical check-ups done and had their strappings on before entering the room. You can see Jess Carter holding some moisturiser. I love Lauren Hemp in the middle – she’s always got a massive smile on her face. 

[WRITE THE FUTURE – ELLEN WHITE/MILLIE BRIGHT]

I took this one because of the powerful message on the wall, just outside the boot room at SGP before the tournament. It’s a message that resonates even more in light of the Lionesses’ momentous win. The players already have written their own future and will now leave a lasting legacy – young girls and boys will look up to those like Ellen White and Millie Bright. 

[MARY EARPS/LUCY BRONZE WITH TROPHY IN GOAL]

As I was walking around the Wembley pitch after the final, Lucy Bronze grabbed the trophy and turned to Mary Earps. She asked her to pose as if she was making one of her amazing saves, using the trophy as a substitute ball. I was in the right place at the right time and it was a fitting tribute to Mary’s phenomenal performance between the posts throughout the Euros. 

[LEAH WILLIAMSON SINGING PITCHSIDE]

This was after the Lionesses defeated Norway 8-0. You can see the pure elation in Leah Williamson’s face. Leah is definitely the team DJ and always in charge of the team playlist – always a sign of a great captain! She always walks into the changing room with a speaker before matches and this was her singing ‘So good, so good, so good!’ as Sweet Caroline was blaring out at Brighton. It was joyful to see. 

[TEAM HUDDLE]

Sarina gathers the team into a huddle after every match. This particular one was taken after England beat Spain 2-1 in Brighton to seal their place in the semi-final. It was an unbelievable match. I remember tracking EllaToone as she scored the equaliser in normal time, before Georgia Stanway’s rocket in extra time. You can just see how happy the team was with the performance. Every one of them is beaming. 

[STANWAY, WILLIAMSON, BRONZE, WALSH in boat] 

The day after the Spain game, Sarina gave the players and staff a couple of hours off in the afternoon. I was sitting having a coffee at the hotel, The Lensbury in Teddington, when some of them came up to me and asked me if I wanted to join them in the boat to take a few snaps. So off we went. We had a bit of a natter and obviously I took a few shots. It was a really relaxing afternoon. 

[ALESSIA RUSSO HAVING MASSAGE] 

People often forget there’s a team behind the team. Physios, doctors, sports scientists, psychologists have all played a part in the Lionesses’ success. I love this photo of Alessia getting a massage after the Spain game because she’s just glowing!

[TABLE TENNIS LAUREN HEMP/RACHEL DALY]

This one is a bit controversial, because these two both think they’re the best table tennis player in the squad if pushed Hempo is the best ! Nike, England’s official kit sponsor, helped design the players’ relaxation room at SGP. You can see a pool table in the background and there’s also a dartboard, as well as a basketball hoop. There’s sofas and beanbags to sprawl on and watch Love Island. It’s their space to chill which is important.

[ELLA TOONE DOING HER HAIR]

 Marks & Spencer provided the team with official suits for the tournament and Tooney was trying hers on. This is her in the dressing room at St George’s Park fixing her hair. She didn’t realise I was there – which is exactly how I wanted it to be. It’s key that I don’t interrupt any of the players’ processes and that I simply blend into the background. 

[CHLOE KELLY SPORTS BRA]

What a privilege it was to capture such an iconic image of female empowerment. Chloe Kelly’s sports bra celebration will be talked about for decades to come. I was stationed by the corner flag when she stabbed in England’s goal to win the Euros and I tracked her as she whipped off her top. You can see the sheer joy and elation on her face as she ran straight towards the bench, which was very telling. This England squad is like a family and she wanted to celebrate with her teammates. 

[TEAM SINGING AND DANCING IN CHANGING ROOM]

There’s always singing and dancing with the Lionesses – whether that’s in the changing room, on the team bus or in the hotel. This was them rocking to Tina Turner’s ‘River Deep, Mountain High’ hit. Rachel Daly is often the one leading the singing. It’s a great example of the team being in the moment. 

[LEAH WILLIAMSON READING PAPERS]

The backroom staff have tried to keep a calming presence within the squad all tournament and shut out all the noise outside of the team but after the Final  picked one up and as she started reading each headline out loud, a huge smile spread across her face, totally aware of the legacy she and this magnificent team are going to leave. 

AOP Photography Awards 2021

The AOP Photography Awards are known as the ‘Oscars’ of the photography world. They celebrate excellence in the creative photography and image-making industry. This year’s Awards will open in October 2021 and close in January 2022. This is your chance to be seen by leading commissioners and names within the photographic industry.