Last week I discovered the Mum has taken 3 of the children and moved to England, leaving her husband with the remaining children here. Another young couple had a disabled child and were told he hadn’t long to live and had given up their jobs to be with the child. A: We are in the process of applying for charity status but it’s a long, involved process and so many other organisations are doing the same thing. We called our first meeting and 65 people turned up. So much more could be achieved. A: Yes, the Gold Coast! I love what HBO are doing with it, and the crew and cast are the best. One day you're on top of the monkey bars, or coasting on the swings, but the next you're flying down the slide and having to climb up again. The former site of the Harland & Wolff shipyard was a derelict patch of land on the Belfast waterfront distinguished only by the pair of towering yellow cranes called Samson and Goliath. Lenses include the 24-70mm f/2.8 on one D3 in the blimp, and another 24-70mm on a Df around my neck. There are so many photographers now and everything is expected to be super-processed, hyper-sharp and perfect, so the way your work is going to stand out is if you're totally true to your art and you capture the emotion. After my degree I started to shoot landscapes in Iceland for a wall-art company. It's incredible to work on such a popular show and from the beginning, too – it's such a thrill, and I never take it for granted. I'd heard of Game of Thrones but I'd never read the books, and I decided not to read them when I got the job, either.

It's the strangest feeling – although it's very hard work, it doesn't feel like a job, it's just what I do. I can give it out when I need to!

Ten years ago, there were no full-time studio facilities in the country.

I started off with some terrible non-Nikon lens on it, and had to wait for a long time until I could afford my first decent NIKKOR – it was the 50mm f/4, which someone had told me I should get for portraiture.

I keep meaning to sort them out and do a website, but I never seem to have enough time. Sometimes we can hand care of families on to other churches beyond North Down. A: For many years I had been involved in youth and community work on a voluntary basis, initially in East Belfast before moving to Bangor in the early 1980’s. We continue to pray for that and ask others to do that to. I'm always respectful; if I feel someone doesn't want to be photographed or if everyone is exhausted, I'll hang back– but there are no divas on set, they're all amazing to work with. There’s a kind of righteous anger comes into play. Yes they are a vital aid to life getting better for so many families and individuals but I keep asking God to show me what else we can do. Well, now it's been screened, I can tell you – the Battle of Hardhome. When I started on Thrones I used to keep tear sheets and clippings from newspapers of my work, but I couldn't keep up.

A: Not to judge people. Q. I just read the script for each season, because I don't want to get 'out of the moment' – if I know someone's going to turn into a bad guy two seasons on, that might affect how I shoot them now, so I try not to find out. Some think it’s only people on benefits who need help,  but GPs and social workers often send us families who have had a drastic change in their circumstances, maybe through illness or loss of employment, and they can’t pay their mortgage, car payments or put food on the table for their children. For photography in general, don't obsess about being perfect. It was through the Bangor Inter Church Community Initiative (BICCI) that I became aware of organisations in North Down who were trying to help people in dire straits. However, through our partnerships with CAP, SVP, Simon Community, community workers and many other agencies we see lots of families who are in desperate circumstances. I just keep praying we can all be united, everyone working together – churches, agencies, and charities. . It works through personal recommendations and ‘parties’ in homes. Fans can go glamping — glamorous camping — at “Winterfell” (aka Castle Ward in County Down), wear medieval costumes on a group tour of filming locations, or opt for a DIY tour via iPhone app. There wasn't the option to print every shot in the darkroom – it was expensive. My first camera was the Nikon F3 my dad bought me. Bangor Inter Church Community Initiative (BICCI). SLOAN, Helen Correspondence address 103 Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland, BT4 3HW

Local politicians often send refugees and other people in difficult circumstances to Helen, knowing she will do all she can to help them. They can be classed as ‘work poor’, a group which has been identified more widely in the press and the news in recent months. I got to see the hard work involved, and how emotionally draining it can be for performers, and actors likewise, which helps you learn how to pick your shooting moments. There was no Game of Thrones 'style' when I started; we've all developed the style and the look between ourselves.

How do you see it on a daily basis? I can’t do more and God knows that. For about $65, tourists can trek to the lush Tollymore Forest to meet them. Filing history for HELEN SLOAN PHOTOGRAPHY LTD (NI618804) People for HELEN SLOAN PHOTOGRAPHY LTD (NI618804) More for HELEN SLOAN PHOTOGRAPHY LTD (NI618804) Officers; ... Ms Helen Sloan Active Correspondence address 103 Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast, BT4 3HW . It's beyond anything I ever imagined. Q. Some photographers use monopods, but I find they get in the way. Helen Sloan She was born in Ireland in a family environment of artistic parents – father interested in art work and mother in music and both pursued teaching profession. About 13,000 people were cast as extras, and, for many, the role of background actor offered entry to a lifestyle they could never have imagined before the start of the series. When Helen Sloan was asked to submit her portfolio for the role of stills photographer on a new TV series being filmed in studios just five minutes from her Belfast home, she had had no idea how big a phenomenon it was set to become. I contacted Francis Rutledge of Christians Against Poverty (CAP) to ask for help for this man. It was “scruffy and unpleasant,” Williams recalls, but it was big, with 90-foot ceilings that comfortably fit six Game of Thrones sound stages. The Dark Hedges, a lane of undulating beech trees in County Antrim that appeared once, fleetingly, in the Season Two premiere, has become so popular with the Instagramming hordes that local authorities had to close the road to traffic. The Mulhall family owns a pair of 110-pound Northern Inuit dogs named Odin and Thor who appeared as direwolf puppies adopted by the Stark children in the series pilot. We got them housed, the children into schools with new school uniforms and the family really well set up. I don't have to worry about my cameras; they're my tools and I know them and they work for me, they're an extension of me. There is an extensive catalogue and ordering is made on-line. I triple-back-up my cards, start to sift out the shots with eyes closed, and meta-tag for cast, locations, scenes, episodes, key props. I've now got over half a million shots from Thrones. It was then I promised God I would never let people He sent to me to go hungry again. I was aware of some organisations in our area trying to help people in dire straits. I’m also very humbled by the generosity of individuals, shops and businesses throughout North Down. Join Facebook to connect with Helen Sloan and others you may know. ), In addition to that space, Northern Ireland offered relatively inexpensive labor and housing, and a wide array of natural scenery and centuries-old ruins within a 90-minute drive of central Belfast.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Usually they'll say, oh my god, that's my dream job, and then they'll ask me who's going to die next… It's not like any other job I've ever done. Once I got started, I never wanted to do anything except photography. Interview with Helen Sloan from Storehouse. The best piece of advice I've ever had is 'don't worry about it', and I've been given it quite a few times!

I'll go onto the set, watch the rehearsals, and the day doesn't really stop. The show, says Hill, has been “life-changing,” a sentiment many share. I worked with a family recently for 9 months. At Storehouse we have a very good Steering Group and at times they have to ‘rein me in’ with all my ideas and energy but often they are completely right and I see that after a little while. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Joining First Bangor Presbyterian Church I continued with that work helping set up an English language class, and through that I became more involved and working with and supporting the ethnic minority communities in Bangor and beyond, so really the MBE was for ‘services to the community in North Down’.

It's a beautiful portrait lens, and if I had to get rid of all my other lenses and just had the 85mm left, I'd be happy. I have also learnt how to manage people. Then I do my own colour grading and retouching. And how would I choose?!

She started using the first camera (Nikon F3), at the age of 11 lent to her by her father when photography became her passion. To begin with Storehouse North Down was linked with Storehouse Belfast, but we are now independent and are in the process of becoming a charity in our own right. Q: What prompted you to suggest Storehouse? (In a minor act of heresy, he opted to skip the traditional black pudding, a concoction whose ingredients include pork blood and oats.).

Helen Sloan, who grew up in the village of Ahoghill and who spent eight seasons as the show’s stills photographer, recalls how people used to ask whether she was a member of the IRA when she traveled abroad; now they ask her about Game of Thrones. We're all hired on the strength of our work, so if we were then restricted they wouldn't get the product they wanted. The only real restriction is the size of the sets – some are so tiny, that with two cameras on a dolly with the operator, focus puller, grip, sound guys and so on, there's literally nowhere for me to be… I'm good at negotiating a particular shot, squeezing myself into a corner, then quickly getting out of the way. We see so many families and individuals brought low by addiction, lack of employment opportunities, mental health issues etc. He was 5th in line to use the toilet and the shower. I have learnt to listen and stay quiet long enough to listen. I rarely use my MBE title but it can be useful on occasions, as a way of getting a bit more ‘clout’ for the people I am trying to help! What had you been doing up to then in the community? “Don’t be judging!” said the actor, who enjoys the comforts of home — or most of them. My own advice would be to keep learning, keep looking, keep trying, and don't be offended when doors close – it's usually not personal, so just keep knocking on other doors. Usually I drive to work for the 8am call time, then get my gear into my trolley – it's a dog trolley I've had modified so I don't destroy my shoulders carting so much equipment on my back. It can still be an amazing shot.

“We’ve come so far as a people, and now we have this jewel in the crown to be so proud of,” she says. I always shoot in manual. We’ve worked with Frank Sellar in Bloomfield Presbyterian and with Shore Street in Donaghadee. A: It was really when I was dealing with an ethnic minority man I was trying to help who lived in a shared house in Bangor. Given free rein with her camera throughout its entire run, Sloan, 37, was one of the few crew members who interacted with virtually everyone involved, from actors and producers to painters and plasterers.

If you get an amazing shot and a little bit is blurry, don't freak out. My cameras are just so reliable – they travel a lot and get bashed around, but I've never had a problem with them.

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