Any Yorkshire man or woman worth their salt will know two things: how to mix batter to make one of the most delicious and mandatory accompaniments to the perfect Sunday dinner and secondly who Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) are.
If you aren’t from Yorkshire, then you should start your research on flat caps, whippets and being thrifty. I’ll shed some light on YAA though: they’re an independent charity who support the Yorkshire region with an airborne rapid response emergency service.
When people sustain major bodily trauma through misadventure or have an accident in some remote or inaccessible place, the whirring of Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s helicopter blades can be heard overhead. They have two helicopters based in Leeds and Sheffield and have just moved to their new headquarters in Elland.
Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s new HQ was officially opened in May 2010, but they’ve been super-busy with the logistics of moving in, coordinating incidents and important ongoing fund-raising efforts so haven’t had a chance to properly photograph their new location: Cayley House in Elland.
I was asked to photograph Cayley House’s unique character and features, it is an old York stone mill after all, steeped in history from the region’s pivotal role in the industrial revolution. The brief was to use unusual angles and avoid anything too corporate and formal where possible. The images would then be used for print and web to spread word of where YAA now call home.
Taking photographs of any office environment is challenging, they tend to house the same furniture, the same positions all surrounded by the same neutral coloured walls.
While Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s new HQ is still an office, it’s the exposed elements of the original structure that make it interesting. Wherever possible I tried to work in Cayley House’s overhead beams, exposed brickwork and other incidental features that are uniquely YAA.
I always try and exceed a brief too, by throwing in a few fun or experimental shots that add value for a client, like a photograph of their model helicopter made to look as though it is flying over the board room table to a back drop of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance logo. Keep an eye out for it in the slide show of photographs.