Tyne & Wear

Coronavirus: Teen photographer documents life in lockdown

Tyler Lopes's great-grandmother smiling and laughing Image copyright Tyler Lopes
Image caption Tyler Lopes likes to "capture facial expressions"

A teenage photography fan who launched his own business venture thanks to a £50 inheritance from his grandmother has been documenting life in lockdown.

After selling personalised key rings and mugs to increase that figure to £400, Tyler Lopes bought a camera.

Over the past few months the 14-year-old, of Hebburn, South Tyneside, has taken a number of "doorstep portraits" and captured deserted streets.

His father, Michael Cooke, said the youngster "has done his grandma proud".

A smiling young girl sitting on her garden wall with her parents Image copyright Tyler Lopes
Image caption Tyler has taken photos of families in South Tyneside
A young girl smiles Image copyright Tyler Lopes
Image caption Getting up close has been difficult during lockdown, the young photographer says
A young girl with her father who is giving a "thumbs up" sign Image copyright Tyler Lopes
Image caption Tyler says the pictures will give families a reminder of the time they have spent together in recent months

However, social distancing guidelines have made it difficult for the Hebburn Comprehensive School pupil to get as near to his subjects as he would like.

"It's been a bit of a struggle as I like to get up close to capture facial expressions," he said.

"I've never seen anything like this before so it's been a great opportunity to show the isolation but also capture how much families have been enjoying spending time together."

Tyler Lopes in front of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge Image copyright Kelly Lopes
Image caption Tyler has taken his camera with him on family trips around the world

The youngster, who is studying photography as part of his GCSEs, first discovered an interest in the subject when he began using his mum's mobile phone.

When his grandmother died in January 2018, he decided to use his inheritance to help fund a Nikon D3400 camera and sold customised items through his parents' home-run business until he had the £400 needed.

Two young children on a beach facing out to sea Image copyright Tyler Lopes
Image caption The local beach has given Tyler an opportunity to snap people away from their homes
A smiling young girl in her front garden Image copyright Tyler Lopes
Image caption The teenager enjoys working with other children
A young boy fills a plastic bucket with sand on the beach Image copyright Tyler Lopes
Image caption Tyler has taken pictures in Hebburn, South Shields and Newcastle during lockdown

"He's put a lot of effort into it," his father said. "He always wants to go out with his camera and take pictures.

"He likes working with other children and manages to engage with them and capture a moment in time. He has the eye for it.

"A lot of it has come about through word-of-mouth on Facebook and other generous people have given him opportunities."

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