Favourite photos of 2023 and the stories behind them

2023 has been a hell of a year. We launched Photographerforhire on 16th May and the work on it has been intense, to say the least.

The biggest motivator we have is seeing the huge pool of talent and amazing humans that have join us. I am constantly enamoured and humbled by the incredible photographers who make up Photoghrapherforhire. We’re not officially a community, but it feels like there is a community within us.

To celebrate 2023 , we’ve asked photographers about their favourite photos of 2023 and what made their pic special for them. The images could be a commission or personal. There are no rules really. There’s a story behind each of these images, even without words.  I hope you enjoy them too. I’ll let the photographers and their photos do the talking now.

In no particular order, here are the favourite photos of 2023 as chosen by some of the most talented professional photographers.

*Featured image by Ashely Hurst of Blackpool property photography.

Agenda Brown

Agenda Brown portrait and personal branding photographer based in London


“This image is one of my favourites for 2023; I feel it really captures who Enia is, her graceful connection to her instrument and the poetic nature of who she is as an artist.”
The sitter is Enia Sofia, musician and speech therapy advocate.

Agenda Brown is an award winning portrait photographer based in London. View more of his thoughtful imagery here.


Rob Sutherland of Wayward Spirit Photography

Landscape and property photographer based in Scotland

What is it?

“An old ruined croft at Yesnaby, Orkney.”

What do you like about it?

“This just shouts Orkney at me.  This is my true home, and a place I miss when I am away (which is almost all the time) so this scene, this light… just everything about this photograph is deeply personal to me!

I am working on a project looking at ruined, abandoned and cleared settlements and homes through the Highlands, but photographing them in their landscape to try and convey how the people created the views that we see now and how our forefathers experienced the world.
I was out to get an advertising shot at the sea stacks off the coast near here at sunset, but the light was catching the view as I approached perfectly and I was in the early formation stages of this project and felt it would be a great addition!  This is pure fortune and being in the right place at the right time with the right kit!”

Rob Sutherland AKA Wayward Spirit Photography is a landscape and property photographer based in Inverness, Scotland. His images often showcase a deep sense of connection with the landscape. View more of his commercial work here.

Suzanne Bainton’s

Suzanna Bainton professional still life and portrait photographer Kent

Suzanne took this music promo photo for flyers, posters, and album cover, headshot pic for social media and Spotify.

“Drum and Bass Mc duo Starz n Deeza who produce their own music and music vids. They also perform live for music events and festivals. They wanted something fun and creative!
They’re repeat clients. I have been doing their photography now for about 10 years. I met them when I was doing photography for music events and festivals.”

Suzanne Bainton specialises in still life and product photography and has her own studio in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Her photography has a unique look, often evoking a sense of enchantment. View more of Suzanne’s photos here.

Martin Strivens

This is Gary, He came in to update his business headshot, he’s a financial advisor. This is his story:

I help run a girls football team and when we went in to lockdown we wanted to look after the girls, their mental health and make sure they weren’t being beaten up/abused by their parents.
So we did quizzes each week on zoom.
I started growing my moustache then so they could take the mick out of me.
I was hoping the more they did that the more they would enjoy it so they were more likely to come back. So we could look after them and see them more.
Now it’s more of a message to say it’s ok to be different and be yourself and you don’t have to fit in and copy anyone.
As long as you are happy in yourself it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.”

Martin Strivens is an experienced commercial and headshot photographer based in Worcestershire. His work is varied and often elaborately lit, creating a sense of cinematic drama. View more of Martin’s work here.

Ashely Hurst AKA Blackpool property photography

Ashley Hurst, a property photographer based in Lancashire

“A House for Essex is designed by FAT Architecture and Grayson Perry. It is both an artwork in itself and the setting for a number of works by Perry exploring the special character and unique qualities of Essex. The building has been designed to evoke the tradition of wayside and pilgrimage chapels. It belongs to a history of follies, whilst also being deeply of its own time.”
Living Architecture.

Ashley Hurst of Blackpool property photography is, as you’d expect, a property photographer specialising in interiors and exteriors based in Lancashire. He’s an experienced pro and his passion for architecture and design is evident in his imagery. View more of Ashley’s work here.

Aneta Swoboda’s 2023 photo

Aneta is an event and wedding photographer based in London with a candid style.

I took this shot in Ramsgate during the night of King Charles III celebration.
The whole town was having their street party, tables all along High Street, stage, live music and performances; food, drinks and a party smoke machine.
I was there with my camera photographing what was unfolding in front of my eyes.
The scene in this picture is from the backstage of the main scene of joy and the whole partying mood.
Two passers-by were probably heading home, busy in conversation. At the same time two kids left the party to play aside, they hugged and they were trying to keep balance on the wobbly chain. Suddenly, the near parked car turned the lights on, I saw a dynamic scene of human actions and interactions veiled by smoke from the machine.
I immediately pressed the shutter and at the same time the third kid jumped into the frame unintended, doing some kind of dance on the street and balancing my frame without notice.

I really like the pair of kids in the middle of the image with expressions of their bodies, somehow poetic.
For me this image is mostly about them. However, each person is necessary to complete the story.
I feel there is some mystery here, created by smoke from a smoke machine and the low and strong light of a car’s reflectors, more hiding what is really going on there than showing. A bit like Rembrandt’s painting mood, a bit surreal and a bit alienated.”

Aneta Swoboda is a London based wedding and event photographer. Her work is raw, often a little quirky and celebrates the incidental moments in life which make it worth living. You can view Aneta’s work here.

Gil Prince

Gil Prince is a commercial and interior photographer based in Buckinghamshire UK.
This is Avro Lancaster NX611 ‘Just Jane’, photographed in October during an evening event at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre, organised by Timeline Events and supported by LAHC’s amazing cast of volunteer re-enactors. It was a unique experience, and an honour to get so close to such an iconic aircraft under a fabulous starry sky. After sharing the image on various supporter groups it was clear there was interest in a print, so ‘NX611 Just Jane’ is now available via my website and has already become my top selling image – with a percentage of the profit being donated to the LAHC in support of their programme of restoration to take Just Jane to an airworthy condition.”

Gil Prince is a commercial and interior photographer based in Buckinghamshire. She’s photographed everything from commercial office spaces to residential homes, not to mention classic aircraft. View more of Gil’s work here.

Andy Go

Andy is a portrait and personal branding photographer based in West London.

Andy shared this magical image with us

“This is a Gypsophila flower for my Flowers and Elements project.
I’ve photographed naked people with their favourite flowers and elements since 2016, and after moving to the UK, I was quite upset how general public does not want to be photographed here, not even in portrait setting.

I would like to ask everyone to go and get photographed – do not choose the photographer by their prizes or education, or by celebrities they photographed – pick some photos of normal people and compare – the author of the ones you like best is the one you are looking for. If you can’t see the difference, try to look more, and give a thought towards why you like some photos but not the others, and come get photographed. Make the life of future archaeologists easier – otherwise they will have only photos of celebrities.”

Thank you Andy Go. Andy photographs portraits, headshots and personal branding in his West London Studio or on Location. His photos have an earthy, warm tone and are flattering yet natural looking. View more of Andy’s work here.

Fergus Coyle

Fergus Coyle is a Commercial, Portrait Photographer based in Bristol.

“Taken whilst hiking the GR221 Dry Stone Route which traverses the Serra De Tramuntana range in Mallorca. It was the end of a long day and whilst looking for a bivvy spot, we were graced with the most stunning viewpoint. I love the qualities this image holds – blurring the boundaries between personal work and lifestyle imagery. Shot using a medium format Fuji GW680iii with Kodak Gold200.”

When not photographing breathtaking landscapes, Fergus Coyle specialises in portraits on location and commercial photography. Fergus’s love of cycling and the open air is evident in his photos and his portraits often position the subject within a natural environment.  View more of Fergus’s work here.

Roy J Baron

Roy J Baron is a super portrait photographer based in London and working all over the UK.
Portrait of author Michael Morpurgo by Roy J Baron

“This was shot of the Gala performance of ‘I Believe In Unicorns’ a West End play performed by Danyah Miller at the Lyric Theatre.
I love Michael, he is an absolute gentleman and a really nice chap, I love this pic and I appreciate it even more for the fact of literally only having 60 seconds to get it.”

Roy J Baron is an award-winning portrait photographer based in London and regularly working all over the UK. His clients are often in the performing arts sector including theatre productions, actors, TV and films.

View more of Roy’s work here.

Clive Sherlock

Clive Sherlock photographs interiors and exteriors in London and the UK.

This is an interior image from a hotel shoot I did back in April 23. It was a commission to shoot a newly refurbished hotel in Kensington. I love this sort of shoot as the client just gave me free rein to shoot whatever appealed to me. For a  client to have that trust in my ability really gives me a confidence boost.

I particularly like this image because of it’s aesthetic simplicity. The composition is a pleasing, it’s tricky to say much about that, as it’s more of an instinctive decision. The lighting is discreet, the interior designer can take the credit for that, but I like the way it fills the image with pools of light, highlighting the textures and materials used in the bathroom design.”

Clive Sherlock is an experienced food and interior photographer based in London. Clive also takes incredible portraits and I’ve been trying to convince him to showcase them on our site. One day he’ll agree…

His clients include some of the biggest brands in the UK and his photos often have a light, airy and natural feel to them. View more of Clive’s work here.

Pete Downham of Artisan Imagery

Pete Downham is an event and music photographer based in Surrey.

“A photo from a recent series featuring Chip Kilpatrick, an accomplished all round musician from Alabama.

This was taken in a very dimly lit venue called Rock Island Bar in Corralejo, Fuerteventura during a trip to document life as a musician on the island, we also shot and produced several music videos as part of this project. This project also combined extensive testing of the new Leica Q3.”

Pete Downham, AKA Artisan imagery is an experienced event photographer based in Surrey (but often working in London). He’s got a passion for music that can be seen in many of his images. View Artisan Imagery’s portfolio here.

Valentin Raicea

Valentin is a wedding photographer based in Hampshire.

“Captured during the wedding ceremony, a symbolic moment unfolded as the bride’s hand was presented to the groom by her father. With a gentle touch, he symbolically passed her hand from his care into the groom’s, emphasising the enduring bond between parent and child. This gesture not only upholds the rich traditions of their culture but also underscores the profound respect the groom holds for his bride’s family. The harmonious exchange between the two families further strengthens the unity and love that grace this special occasion.”

Valentin Raicea is portrait and wedding photographer based in Hampshire. His wedding photos are natural and candid, flattering and emotive.  View more of Valentin’s wedding photos here.

Alex Madia Levi

Alex is a portrait and beauty photographer based in London with his own studio.

Alex didn’t add any words with his image, so I’ll add a few. I like this portrait because it’s not only beautifully shot, it also has something mysterious and atmospheric. It could be a still from a film, and it’s up to us to decide about the plot.

Alex Madia Levi photographs portraits and beauty and has his own studio in Camden, London. His style is polished, well lit and flattering, often evoking a sense of luxury.

View more of Alex’s work here.

Phil Deacon

Phil is a corporate event photographer based in London.

A group of film executives in discussion at a recent film industry event at the Business Design Centre, Islington, London. (booked through this platform 😃)
I like the shot because I think it captures the midst of a conversation and thought between creatives in a dynamic and exciting industry.
I really enjoy capturing this kind of moment, which can present itself if you place yourself in the right spot at the right time.”

Phil Deacon is a portrait, events and corporate photographer based in London. His photographs of business settings are always lively and dynamic, which is no easy feat in the corporate world.

View more of Phil’s work here.

Enzo Sebastiani AKA When I Click

Enzo is an event photographer based in London.

This was taken when I used to work as a freelancer photographer in the Mexican Bar Downstairs Mestizo in London.

I like this image because it offers a different perspective from typical club or bar photos. The long shot-holder gives such an interesting perspective to the composition, almost mysterious. It wasn’t planned at all, I followed the client for a few seconds and captured that moment of ‘magic’. It’s a very hectic and lively bar so catching these almost artistic candid moments is very satisfying. You can sense a really good night is about to start just by looking at it.”

Enzo Sebastiani is a beauty and event photographer based in Islington London. He’s skilled at capturing pristine beauty imagery and his event photography often shows a sense of movement and action.  

View more of Enzo’s work here.

Simon Barker AKA Bear Photoz

Simon is an Event photographer based in Buckinghamshire

Simon didn’t add any info with the photo. I really like his pic as it evokes old western movies and Americana. The boy’s smile and direct look into the lens are priceless.

Simon Barker is an event photographer based in Buckinghamshire. His event photos are fun and spontaneous, and do a great job of capturing the vibe and energy of the occasion.

View more of Simon, Bear Photoz work here.

Ashley Meerloo

Ashlee is a performing arts photographers in London.

“Dress rehearsal of Holiday Inn by CentreStage London
The Bridewell Theatre, London

I really love capturing candid style photos of actors on stage, the stuff that people, including the actors, do not see. I also like the timelessness of B&W and using the stage lighting that ‘paints’ minimal light on the actor.

This shot was taken the night before the first show, everyone concentrating and getting into the flow of the show. I like Georgia’s expression here, with her fellow performers blurred in the background.

The group is an amateur dramatics company, so I volunteer to take pictures for the memory and portfolio of all the stage actors, crew and directors. Usually about 2,500 shots over the course of normal & dress rehearsals.”

Ashley Meerloo is a portrait and performing arts photographer based in London. His passion for theatre is evident in the photos giving us a glimpse behind the scenes or taking us on to the front row.

View more of Ashley’s work here.

Alexandru Cristian

Automotive photographer based in Kent.

“This shot was created together with one of my motorsport clients, who does Time Attack races in Romania and has won several second and first places.
The image puts you close to the action. Next to the finish line or in the car, you can almost hear the engine roaring while crossing the finish line.

My client needed photography to promote their racing team, and I said to him, what better way to do it than by capturing exactly what you’re doing, and that’s racing. By capturing exactly that, you tell a true story through the image.

Being a motorsport addict, the image makes me want to go on the track myself, burn a few tires and beat a few personal lap records.”

Alexandru Cristian photographs cars, planes and anything that has an engine and moves fast. His passion for action and car design comes across in the photos.

View Alexandru’s portfolio here.

Laura Firth AKA Mini Apperture

Laura is an Interior photographer in Derbyshire

“This is a drone image that I shot of the village of Wirksworth in Derbyshire, on the edge of the Peak District. I was shooting some drone footage of the area for a family business that’s been at the heart of the village for over 50 years – you can see the big factory roof in the very centre of the image. The business is Peak Converters. I took the image while getting the footage for this video. It was shot during golden hour in October this year.

I love how the village is bathed in beautiful golden sunlight, which really amplifies the stunning colours in the autumn foliage. I also love the dramatic clouds that are rolling in towards the camera in the distance. The plane trail in the sky is reminiscent of a shooting star, I feel like it really adds to the overall feeling of the photo. The owner of the business is extremely proud of their local area and this image perfectly conveys the beauty and the pride that they wanted to showcase.”

Laura Firth, who goes the by name Mini Aperture, photographs interiors, exteriors and also headshots. Laura is based in Derbyshire and also offers drone, Metaport and virtual tour photography.

View more Laura’s work here.

Dolly Shah

Dolly photographs family portraits and is based in London.

Dolly photographed this lovely family at the park. She likes this photo as it really shows their happiness. “We planned a picnic setup and it turned out so beautifully and made a fun experience for the family.”

Dolly Shah is a London based family photographer. She also captures lifestyle product shots for brands. Her family photos always look fun, relaxed and effortless with the children smiling naturally.

View Dolly’s photography portfolio here.

Marcin Chojnacki

Marcin is a property photographer based in Kent.

“I took this photo in Cornwall – dusk shoot. I spent at least 30 minutes to prepare it and make sure if everything is perfect.”

Marcin Chojnacki is an interior photographer based in Kent, UK. His attention to detail shows and the properties he photographs look polished and inviting.

View more of Marcin’s work here.

Jon Fallon

Jon is a wedding photographer based in London, England.

“A little bit on the image: It’s taken from a wedding that took place in Greenwich. We didn’t have the correct licence to photograph in the grounds of the University so we walked round the back to the gate that’s on the Thames – and I got the couple to run in and that’s when I snapped the pic.  Within seconds the Uni security had driven up to tell us we couldn’t take pics.”

Jon Fallon is a London based wedding and event photographer. Jon photographs weddings in a documentary style, meaning things aren’t too formal and his photos give a sense of the joy of the day.

View more of Jon’s photography here.

Michael Mawby

Michael is a portrait photographer based in Norfolk.

“This is ‘ Sky ‘ – At a Studio session for her first Portfolio shoot as prep for her induction into LAMDA.

Sky’s mum contacted me after I gave her a business card in passing whilst on a walk around a forest where I shoot families & dog portraits and she was with Sky exercising a pony.

She was initially a bit nervous but soon settled into the shoot and this one captured me with the connection with her eyes – I called it the magazine cover shot with the wind machine blowing and me directing her with her mum & brother looking on – I think she did really well.”

Michael Mawby is a Norfolk based photographer specialising in people and sports. He photographs everything from portraits to families and pets. His picture show his connection with the subjects.

View more of Michael’s work here.

Deb Burrows

Deb is a wedding photographer based in Essex UK.

“I have so many favs so this is one of many.
Lindsay getting ready for her wedding day. I like it because it’s completely candid and an unaware moment captured”

Deb Burrows is a people photographer. She photographs portraits and personal branding and her work is regularly published in magazines and weeklies. Her photos look natural and often capture spontaneous fleeting moments that would otherwise be lost.

View Deb’s work right here.

The Nyusz Pusz brand

Oszkar is an event photographer based in Manchester.

“It was taken on a freezing morning last week (start of December), when my partner dragged me out of bed at 7.30 am because the city skyline looked so magical, she couldn’t pass up on it.”

The Nyusz Pusz brand is the professional name for Oszkar, a food, interior and event photographer based in Manchester. Oszkar captures the fun and atmosphere of events he’s attending as well as food photography for menus.

View more of Oszkar’s work here.

Some final words

I hope you’ve enjoyed the photos and immersed yourself in their stories. I’ve included a link to each photographer’s page where you can view their photography portfolios and read about them. You can also contact and book each photographer directly. I’m sure that they’ll be happy to chat and discuss potential photoshoots.


About Photographerforhire.co.uk

Launched on 16th May 2023, we’re a resource for finding professional photographers in the UK. We’re fans of photography and aim to champion the value of good photography. 2023 has been our first year of activity with over 350 enquiries generated for photographers who trialed the platform. We’re aiming for more than double that in the coming months. We’d like to thank all the photographers and clients who’ve used us in 2023 and we’re looking forward to growing this space even further in 2024.

Odi Caspi – founder – Photographerforhire.co.uk