Love of Leeds – 2019, a year to remember

image of united we stand - graffiti on the wall

A unique project to document some of Leeds’ most memorable moments is well under way. Photojournalist Jude Palmer, talks about the project which is capturing 2019 in the city.

An image speaks a thousand words: a well-known phrase that is key to Love of Leeds.

The project is a collaboration between photojournalist Jude Palmer and Leeds City Council. Leeds Hacks spoke to Jude about the project and what it means to her:

“There are two pillars to the project, sport and culture, but they sit on a platform of community, so Love of Leeds is all about how do these amazing things that the city attracts, impact the people that live here,” said Jude.

Jude has photographed a whole range of events this year, from the UCI World Road Cycling Championships to the first ever double hand transplant at Leeds General Infirmary.

para-cyclist
UCI Para-cycling in Leeds, by Love of Leeds 2019.

Why Leeds?

“It has been a particularly intense year of activity in 2019.

“Leeds is on this amazing trajectory and what we have done is captured a moment in the momentum.”

Not only has Leeds been the host of major sporting events such as The Ashes, Leeds United Centenary, the ITU World Triathlon, it will also be the new headquarters to one of the leading broadcast companies in the UK, Channel 4.

“It is the first time we have brought everything together under one roof. Leeds is not great at shouting about how good it is.

“Leeds hosts all these amazing events and all these wonderful things go on.

ben stokes at the ashes in 2019
Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer at The Ashes 2019, by Love of Leeds.

“I use my camera as a torch to shine a light on things that don’t get seen.”

“Goose-bump shoots”

With the huge amount of activity Leeds has had to offer over 2019, we asked Jude which has been her favourite.

“I met the patient that had the double hand transplant and to actually talk with him and see his hands and understand what he has been through, that was really powerful.

“I call them goose-bump shoots, where you do these shoots and you know you are capturing something really important that people are going to want to see.”

Getting the shot

Leeds City Council have collaborated in this project by helping Jude to gain access to areas where the she can get the perfect shot.

“Getting into Leeds Festival, getting into The Ashes, all these events would have been difficult for me to do in isolation, they have been able to open the door.”

“Photojournalism, is about access. If you can’t get access, it does’t matter how brilliant you are as a photographer, you can’t get the shot.”

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council said:

“Love of Leeds is a stand-out photographic project which the council is delighted to support and work on with Jude. It will shine a light on our progressive city, showing yet again why Leeds has so much diversity, bold character and wonderful organisations which drive our city to be bigger and better than ever.”

royal blood at leeds fest, playing the guitar
Royal Blood at Leeds Festival 2019, by Love of Leeds.

Jude Palmer of Jude Media Agency hasn’t always been a photojournalist. She used to be a lawyer and decided one day that she wanted to be a war photographer.

But to start her journey, she asked her local theatre in Harrogate if she could create a behind the scenes portfolio of their pantomime Aladdin.

After being accepted by Magnum Photo Agency, the biggest photojournalism agency in the world, she felt like she had the validation to go further.

“I went up to Head of Comms at the Tour de France and I said to her: ‘I would like to do a behind the scenes of the Tour de France it has never been done before’ and she said ‘join the queue.”

Despite the setback Jude persisted and one coffee later she was successful and bagged the Tour de France 2014 behind the scenes.

How to see Love of Leeds

Love of Leeds is currently displaying a selection of images on their website and Instagram account. However, Jude told Leeds Hacks that a book is on the way. The 200-page coffee table-style photography book will be launched at the end of November.

The Love of Leeds project will go forward as part of the bid for the 2023 City of Culture.

About the Author

Rebecca Tee
A student creating content for LeedsNow at Leeds Beckett University.

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