A FRESHBROOK teen who is making waves as a wildlife photographer hopes one day to go pro.

Harry King has been taking pictures since he was just seven-years-old.

Now 15, the St Johns, Marlborough, student, won a place in a glossy book of winners of the prestigious British Wildlife Photography Awards last year.

Although nature-mad Harry did not win an award, judges thought so much of his stunning snap of a short-eared owl that they included it in their glossy book and gave him a “special mention” commendation.

Harry said: “I’ve been taking photographs since I was seven. I used to go fishing a lot with my dad. We were going out one day and there was quite a rare bird at the lakes called a black throated diver.

“There were loads of photographers and birdwatchers there.”

Since then he’s learned at the hands of friend Ray Taylor. “He’s someone who helps me a lot.”

The talented photographer now lugs around a long camera lens that weighs three kilos. “I go out whenever I get the opportunity – at weekends or after school. Sometimes I can be waiting up to three or four hours for a shot, depending on what I’m waiting for.”

His best shot was taken near Wichelstowe, where he waited with dad David for a chance to see a short-eared owl sweeping across the sunset.

“They’d been there about for about six months,” he said. “They’ve left now the building work has started.”

His favourite spots to see wildlife are in the “places most people don’t go”, like the scrubby fields around Wichelstowe and the nature reserve at Coate Water.

His advice for those keen to photograph wildlife is to get outdoors. “Just get out as much as possible,” he said. “Just try and find something interesting to photography that’s a great subject to shoot, like a deer or a fox.”

But the teen has kept his photography talent a secret from many school friends. “Not many of my friends at school know about the photography,” he said.

Instead, he has found a group of youngsters on social media who share his passion for wildlife.

The group, Next Generation Birders, regularly meet for residential trips in stunning far-flung nature reserves.

This year, Harry travelled to North Wales with the group, taking part in bird-ringing workshops, taking photographs and doing conservation work at Bardsey Lodge bird observatory.

Mum Michelle King, 49, said: “He just loves photography. We were very proud when his photograph was chosen by the award judges. It’s an achievement, isn’t it.”

Normally chatty, her son changes when he’s out on location. “He’s totally different when he’s out taking wildlife photographs. He’s very chatty at school, but get him out with his camera and he will sit for hours.”

Harry hopes one day to emulate his hero Chris Packham and work with wildlife. “I’d like to do wildlife photography or conservation when I’m older,” he said.

To see Harry’s pictures, visit: www.flickr.com/photos/harrys_wildlife_photography.