10-year-old St Albans boy photographs nature calendar for charity

PUBLISHED: 17:16 03 January 2018 | UPDATED: 09:57 05 January 2018

Giles Smith.

Giles Smith.

Archant

A 10-year-old nature photographer from St Albans has produced his own 2018 calendar to raise money for people with autism.

Picture: Giles Smith Picture: Giles Smith

Giles Smith, of Trumpington Drive, has the condition and Charcot Marie Tooth Disease, which affects the nerves in his hands and feet.

He has been a keen photographer for the past 18 months and is passionate about photographing the natural world.

Through his calendars, which have already sold out, Giles has raised £400 each for the National Autistic Society and Charcot Marie Tooth UK.

His mum Jenny, who runs St Albans photographic business DigitalJen, said: “I have been taking photos for a while and he started on one of my old cameras. He’s seen what I do and fallen in love with it, and he’s also very inspired by Chris Packham, who is one of the ambassadors for the National Autistic Society.

Picture: Giles Smith Picture: Giles Smith

“We have always visited Whipsnade Zoo as a family and it’s really gone on from there. He has a vast knowledge of birds and he loves watching things like Springwatch on TV.”

Giles decided that he wanted to create a calendar after a photography trip to Norfolk in October last year and chose to donate the procedures to people with the same conditions as him.

He said: “I want to show people what children with disabilities can do if they put their mind to it and are helped in the right way”

Jenny, who also has a 12-year-old daughter called Alice, helped Giles build a website and arrange the printing of wall and desk calendars for an initial print run, which sold out in two weeks. A second print run sold out just after Christmas, and Giles and his mum are now working to get the prints on sale on his website.

Picture: Giles Smith Picture: Giles Smith

Jenny said: “I am hugely proud of his determination and focus in doing it. That’s his love and he spends his time reading books about it and his skills with his camera are pretty much self-taught.

“He was very keen that all the money went to charities which is why we have got such a lovely sum to be able to send to both. “We have had really good support from Sue Wybrow [head of St Albans Businesses networking group] and the St Albans Businesses community, and also some really lovely support from Girl Guiding leaders.”

Giles, who plans to make a 2019 calendar, has his photos on display at www.gilessmithphotography.com

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One of my favourite summer activities as a child was pond-dipping. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a house with a fairly large pond in the garden and so my pond-dipping activities often extended over days and weren’t as much dipping as a thorough exploration of the life in the pond.

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