Snapper Irene braves date with snakes
AN amateur photographer overcame her fear of creepy crawlies to capture some stunning pictures.
Irene Lea, 58, invited a reptile fanatic Paul Dutson to her house to photograph some of his collection of snakes and scorpions.
While the shoot went well there was one hairy moment when a scorpion made a daring escape.
Irene, from Macclesfield, said: “I have never liked spiders, snakes or things like that, so it was really good to overcome some of that fear.
“I didn’t realise that the venom hadn’t been taken out of the scorpion so imagine my terror when it nipped Paul and ran down his t-shirt.
“I froze and thought ‘don’t be looking to me for any help’.
“It was quite funny when I realised we weren’t in any danger and that its bite was like getting a little bee sting.”
Irene first picked up a camera in 2009 when she was recovering from breast cancer.
She joined Macclesfield Camera Club and the advice from other members helped develop her skills.
Over the years she has become a regular face at charity and community events and many of her pictures have featured in the Express.
She said photography had become a real passion.
She said: “I am quite shy in day to day life, but put me behind a camera and I’m like a different person. I don’t feel like me.”
Irene wanted to develop her skills with close-up or macro photography and appealed for suggestions on Facebook.
Irene, who works in the security services, said: “I was really happy how the photos came out. I surprised myself. I’m now planning to take some of my friend’s chameleon, which should be a little less scary, but I’m keen on taking more photos of the weird and wonderful.
Paul, 40, of Upton Priory, owns 40 different animals, including 30 snakes and two tarantulas.
He said: “I’m passionate about these animals and used to run a business educating people about them. I jumped at the chance to have them photographed because they are so beautiful. I was manipulating the scorpion into position and he must have got a bit peeved and took it out on my head with a nip. I was fine.”