I took this image for St Bartholomew School of Nursing & Midwifery in 1997, in a health centre local to Barts, to illustrate Children’s Nursing. The amount of fluid injected into the child’s arm is around a millilitre so I had about three seconds to get the shot. In those days I worked with a manual camera with no motor drive as I saw myself as a bit of a Jane Bown disciple.
It was a fruitful afternoon where I produced a variety of images showing things such as consultation and the weighing of children. But it was the injection shot I had gone there to get, and I made several attempts with various children. I try to blend in when I work and as an ex-nurse I kind of fit in, but on this occasion it was impossible and I disrupted the running of the entire health centre. I kept having to stop proceedings to get myself prepared each time they gave an injection.
Finally I captured this shot, and felt that the child’s tears would really make the image. By the time I got home I was thoroughly disgusted with myself. I could not believe I had caused so much havoc and made a child cry. It’s just not the way I work. Quite soon after that I decided to go out and buy myself a motor drive.
Helen started her photographic career in 1991 after graduating with a BA from Manchester Polytechnic. She is passionate about medical and social care, and has used experience gained as a nurse to develop a talent for working in delicate situations, often with people unused to being photographed. Her clients include public sector organisations and charities, as well as commercial and editorial clients.
Photographer since 1991, EPUK member since 2007.
See more work by Helen Stone