Photographer Andrew has Heaven-sent opportunity to showcase his skills on TV programme Songs of Praise

Professional photographer, Andrew Heptinstall, is to give viewers a divine look through the lens of Cumbria after being approached by producers on TV programme Songs of Praise to feature in an upcoming episode.

As part of the episode, which will air on 8th July, Andrew will feature in a three minute segment shot on location at Eycott Hill Reserve, which is run by the Cumbrian Wildlife Trust.

Songs of Praise is a BBC Television religious programme that presents Christian hymns which first aired in October 1961. Since 2016 it has been presented by people including former BBC Breakfast co-presenter Bill Turnbull and Good Morning Britain sports editor Sean Fletcher. The first edition was broadcast from the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Cardiff and the series is one of the longest running of its kind on television anywhere in the world.

Andrew, who lives in Newcastle and was brought up in East Boldon, has spent three decades capturing images for a variety of clients, specialising in architectural projects which he is commissioned for by construction companies and architectural practices. Clients include ADP Architecture, Galliford Try, English Heritage, The National Trust, Cumbria Tourism, Durham University and Fastflow.

Andrew, who regularly runs workshops for Cumbrian Wildlife Trust, said: “My career stems from my experience with the Boys Brigade as a youngster at East Boldon Methodist Church. We ventured on the Duke of Edinburgh silver award and needed a new skill to learn, so a friend and I decided on photography and that planted a seed in me which has remained to this day.

“I have been on location at various churches and I always find myself taking a quiet moment to sit and reflect on how my career began all those years ago in a little church as a young boy.

“I run, on average, six workshops a year for the Trust to help keen amateur photographers develop their landscape and close up techniques. Cumbria provides the perfect backdrop to capture breath taking images and Songs of Praise has given me the opportunity to showcase my love for the natural surroundings in the area on a programme that is a household name.

“My approach to always to tell the story in pictures to viewers so they can ‘be there’, whether it’s a modern building, an ancient monument or a temporary house interior. I approach my work as if it’s something I have never seen before and stand back at first to get a sense of the place or the person for that matter. This is what I try to convey in the workshops.”

Charlotte Hindle, producer of Songs of Praise, said: “It was a real pleasure to spend the day filming with Andrew at Eycott Hill Nature Reserve. What a beautiful location it is and so important that Cumbrian Wildlife Trust have secured it for everyone to enjoy. I think our viewers will really enjoy exploring the landscape through the lens of Andrew and the others on the photography workshop. We had a glorious day, no rain and it was warm! So you do get good weather in Cumbria.”

Also featuring on the episode are Reverend Kate Bottley and JB Gill. Viewers will see Reverend Bottley interview John Cronin, CEO of YMCA National Centre Lakeside on Windermere, about the origins of the company, one of the largest outdoor adventure centres in Europe. Whilst JB Gill visits Cartmel Priory to try its virtual reality experience which is thought to be a world first for any church.