Jeremy Corbyn at Coventry University

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This week I found out that Jeremy Corbyn would be visiting Coventry University to talk about Brexit. Immediately I wondered if there might be a chance to photograph him while he was visiting.

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I asked around and soon found out he would be speaking in a small venue at the Science Park. The event wouldn’t be open to the public and tickets had already been allocated. So no getting access that way.

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I considered finding out what time he would be arriving and hanging around outside the building in the hope of snapping some photos of him entering and leaving. But how disappointing would that be, I really wanted to get some good photographs and be where the main action was.

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There was only one thing for it. I was going to have to be a bit cheeky. This year I’ve found that on more than one occasion that if you’re a little bit cheeky and ask for something, politely and with a good reason, people often surprise you by saying yes!

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I found out the name of two people in marketing and emailed them. I explained I was a media production student doing a freelance year and could I possibly come along to the event to take some photos as I felt it would enhance my experience.

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Literally ten minutes later I had a reply. They’d put me on the guest list and although they couldn’t guarantee me a place in the media gallery I was more than welcome to come along. Which was way more than I could have hoped for so I was over the moon.

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I arrived over an hour early so I could work out the best place to take photos from. A few people were just as eager and the event was full of national press as well as local reporters and photographers. I was going to take a place at the back when i realised the whole front row was empty and had no reserved signs on it.

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I ventured forward and enquired if the seats might be reserved for someone. Surprisingly they were free. Well, if I wanted good pictures I couldn’t afford to sit anywhere else! I took a seat and started to talk to some people behind me. Within five minutes several people had joined me in the front row, confessing they’d not felt brave enough to take a seat at the front but now I had they felt it was okay to.

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I met some really nice people in that hour before the event as everyone waited excitedly for Jeremy to arrive. I also managed to get some great photos I never would have captured if i hadn’t taken a front row seat.

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After the event I got my macbook out to start going through my photos so I could edit them quickly and get them out on social media.

Someone from the venue came over to let me know they had a press room, I think they must have thought I was with one of the papers as there were so many press people there. I thanked them and followed them to a room full of reporters.

I sat in the corner in awe. Everyone seemed to know one another and was either complaining about other reporters or ringing through to their editors with their best quotes from the speech. It was like watching a real life version of Drop the Dead Donkey!

I’m so grateful I got the opportunity to go along.

Thank you to Coventry University’s Marketing people for arranging it for me.

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