An esteemed Naval photographer is making waves in his line of work, picking up an award for his powerful shots of servicemen and veterans.
Royal Navy snapper Joel Rouse, serving with 42 Commando Royal Marines based in Plymouth, has won the Commandant General Royal Marines Prize and been highly commended for the Royal Navy Photographer of the Year and in a video category.
He will step aboard HMS Ocean in the River Thames on May 8 for an awards ceremony with fellow servicemen.
Before joining the forces Joel, 29, grew up in Bradford Road, Birstall, attending the village’s primary school and later Whitcliffe Mount in Cleckheaton.
Proud dad and stepmother Neil Rouse and Pauline Crookes, as well as Joel’s grandmother Enid Rouse, live in Liversedge.
Joel said: “It’s just a really good feeling, you’re quite proud of yourself that you’ve been successful in your category and got a little bit of recognition from the industry for the hard work that you’ve done.”
For Joel, the benefit of being a Royal Navy photographer is having to be a “Jack of all trades” and being plunged into any situation which comes.
“You’re a better all-round photographer. Your average photographer doesn’t get to sit in a helicopter or sit in a boat while people fire machine guns. You’ve got to be aware of your space.”
Three of Joel’s pictures won him the Commandant General Royal Marines Prize, which are printed alongside this article.
The first shot shows 42 Commando disjoining the guard at Buckingham Palace during the Royal Marines’ 350th birthday celebrations on June 24 last year.
The second is veteran Frank Henry Cramp being presented with a Green Beret at Shaugh Prior, Dartmoor, where the modern day Royal Marines receive the coveted hat after completing their four Commando tests.
Mr Cramp returned his uniform after leaving the Marines in 1952, and was honoured with a beret at the Dartmoor service.
The final picture is of a Commando during training exercises in the Surrey countryside.
Joel compares getting the perfect shot with a chef’s satisfaction when a good meal comes together. “You finish up, you eat it and you are satisfied – it’s the same with a photograph. It sums everything up and tells the tale in one photograph.”
But he said there are no idols he looks up to, simply taking inspiration from the many aspects of his work and under-the-radar snappers.
He is now looking forward to the awards ceremony in May. “I can’t wait,” he said. “It’s always nice when the photographers get together because we’re all so thinly-spread and work alone.”