A BRADFORD man with artistic blood coursing through his veins is making a bang in the photography industry, shooting the likes of One Direction's Liam Payne and Bad Boy Chiller Crew in just a short time of being professional.

Richard Hockney, 28, who lives in Saltaire, has swapped chalets and flair bartending for getting behind the camera in the past year or so.

Since going professional, the Bradford lad has experienced a meteoric rise.

Some of his other high profile clients include Manchester United and Sweden defender, Victor Lindelöf, Love Island star and boxer, Tommy Fury, and local music act RK Switch.

He was even commissioned for the wedding of another Love Islander, Tom Walker (who appeared on the show in 2019), and his now wife, Chloe Rayner, at Rudding Park Hotel in January.

This new way of life is very different to what Richard experienced for seven years, working summer and winter seasons in Europe.

Starting in Kos at the European Bartender School in 2013, the 28-year-old has taken in the likes of Lemnos, in Greece, and Les Deux Alpes.

He said: "The season life was incredible, getting paid to live in amazing places was just perfect."

The 28-year-old, who is originally from Thackley, admits he had always had a passion for photography and has been immersed in art since birth thanks in part to his Uncle David - yes, that one.

Richard said: "My whole family has some artistic talent and creative flair, my grandpa (former Lord Mayor of Bradford, Paul Hockney) was also an incredible artist, as is my cousin, Matt.

"I have always been quite close with my Uncle David and I have always been immensely proud of his achievements, he has always inspired me and continues to do so.

"I share a lot of similar traits to him.

"What he has achieved is nothing short of phenomenal, I am proud to carry the name, and I have a passion to keep the name alive."

But Richard's true love affair with photography began in 2018, when he bought his first proper camera.

He said: "I was living in these incredibly beautiful places, and I wanted to start to document that.

"I was out constantly, it quickly became an obsession, I would work, grab my camera, head out for hours and then head home to edit.

"I began to notice a great response to my photos, and people really enjoyed my work, so this was a massive motivation to continue."

His move into the industry was accelerated by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, which physically and psychologically forced him to reevaluate.

Richard was out in the French Alps when the virus swept across Europe and he made the decision to come home, but further issues were on the horizon.

He said: "The pandemic then caused me to be in the UK for the Brexit transition deadline, which sadly lost me the free movement I had enjoyed for the last seven years.

"But that said, the pandemic also allowed me time to decide my next step in life, as my season life was naturally coming to an end anyway."

Richard has used the various lockdowns to build up his contacts and make his way in the industry,

He said: "I then met up with an old friend Conor Butler, who is a genius in the creative world.

"He showed a lot of love for my work and, before I knew it, we were shooting at Victor Lindelof's house.

"He (Conor) has provided me with some incredible opportunities, so a massive shoutout to him."

The proud Bradfordian has gone from strength to strength, recently launching his website, building a strong client base and taking as many bookings as possible.

Richard is shooting for the stars - quite literally - and hopes to carry the Hockney name all the way to New York one day.

He said: "I have some very big and exciting projects in the making with some very familiar faces, but I can’t say too much on that right now.

"I am taking bookings locally and across the UK from commercial, lifestyle, fashion, family, pet, events pretty much anything you could imagine.

"The future definitely holds big things, the dream is to get a Times Square billboard".