"I have always wanted to do a project on children with their comfort toys and over lockdown I needed to focus on something for my own sanity. I started working on my project 'Buddy’  when my husband got home from work and the light was golden.

A friend at school wanted to be part of the project and I visited in her garden to take some images of her girls.

Esme’s image just shone out for me. I wanted to catch the moment between the ‘cheese smile’ and looking too vulnerable. I caught the images in a matter of minutes and loved how intimate the image was even at a social distance.

Esme had other friends in the image, we just couldn’t see them but they were there too. To date I have photographed 60 portraits for ‘Buddy’."

Esmerelda, Hazel & Scruff - Portrait of Britain winner 2020