AN AWARD-WINNING photographer has hailed Brighton as one of the “best places in the world” for taking pictures.

Heather Buckley, from Lewes, scooped an accolade at the British Life Photography Awards last night for a candid shot of two of her friends on Palace Pier.

Ms Buckley had been posing up the pair, but then told a joke.

The smiles of the women captured in the photo led to it winning the competition’s Brits on Holiday category.

The snapper also featured in the documentary series and photojournalist award category for her pictures taken during the Brighton Naked Bike Ride.

Pictures taken on the bike ride, during Brighton Pride and one of her portrait shots also featured in the list of highly commended photos.

The 51-year-old has been a photographer for 25 years and spoke of her love for Brighton and Sussex as a set for her street shots.

She said: “I love taking pictures of people.

“Quite often I will stop people and ask them if I can take a shot and if they can pose.

“But I also like getting the candid shots, finding that perfect image and grabbing it – it is so satisfying. Life is always moving.”

More of her Sussex shots, taken at places like Birling Gap and Goodwood, featured in the contest book.

Ms Buckley said: “I have just been on holiday to South East Asia and while I was there I was thinking: ‘I get better street photographs in Brighton’.

“It is just brilliant and all the surrounding areas as well. I think the British seaside is one of the best places in the world for candid street photography and portraits.

“The people are great and in Brighton you have so many events.

“The people are all willing and they do not mind having their picture taken.

“I will stop anybody and ask them. “I love the pier and the seafront and the North Laine is quite good.”