Highlands & Islands

Photographer's son pays tribute after her death in Harris

Agnes Proudhon-Smith
Image caption Agnes travelled the world taking photographs. This one was taken during her trip to Greenland last month.

A French photographer who died after being swept into the sea in the Western Isles spent her final days "doing what she loved to do most".

Agnes Proudhon-Smith, who lived in Surrey, had a passion for travel and had been visiting the Isle of Harris on an organised photography trip.

The 50-year-old had travelled the world taking photographs and had won numerous accolades for her work.

Her son Elliot, 20, said she "lived life to the fullest".

On 20 March, the photography group had gone onto the rocks in the Nisabost area to photograph the waves crashing onto the rocks.

However, they were hit by a freak wave and Agnes was swept into the sea.

A search was carried out and her body was later found on the shoreline.

Aurora borealis Image copyright Agnes Proudhon-Smith
Image caption Aurora borealis in Greenland
Flamingos Image copyright Agnes Proudhon-Smith

Elliot, who lives in Paris but was brought up in London, believes it was his mother's first time in Scotland.

"As far as I know this was her first trip there," he told the BBC Scotland news website. "She had been to these countries all over the world and I think she just wanted to travel around Britain a bit more."

Agnes lived in Esher on the outskirts of London and had taken photographs in locations across the world, including Greenland, Iceland, India, Bolivia and throughout Europe.

Woman in Myanmar Image copyright Agnes Proudhon-Smith
Image caption This image was taken in Loikaw in Myanmar
Children in Mandalay Image copyright Agnes Proudhon-Smith
Image caption Children in Mandalay

Women from tribes in remote parts of Myanmar were happy to pose for her and she captured smiling children in Mandalay.

But one of her most memorable trips was when she went to Antarctica.

"She went there a few years ago," Elliot said. "That was probably her biggest trip and she was always talking about it.

"She only really started travelling to remote places in the last five years or so, but she always had all her camera equipment with her when we went on family holidays.

"She recently said she had completed 10% of the planet and was on her way to 30%."

Penguins in Antarctica Image copyright Agnes Proudhon-Smith
Image caption One of Agnes' most memorable trips was to Antarctica
Bear in Finland Image copyright Agnes Proudhon-Smith
Image caption A bear in Finland

Elliot added: "She used to joke that she was going on an assignment for work, but her travel pictures were mostly for personal use."

Agnes won a number of photography awards through the years, building up to her being in the finals of the National Geographic Traveller UK competition.

At the beginning of March, she gained a distinction from the Royal Photographic Society for a series of images she took in Valencia and in last year's Outdoor Photographer of the Year competition she had 11 images shortlisted in the Spirit of Travel category.

"She is going to be missed a lot by everyone," Elliot said. "She was very outgoing and funny. She was also very caring and was the one in the family that united everyone, organising the family meet-ups.

"She lived her life to the fullest and spent her final days doing what she loved to do most and that's all we could have asked for."

Polar bears in Norway Image copyright Agnes Proudhon-Smith
Iceberg in Greenland Image copyright Agnes Proudhon-Smith

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