PSYCHING yourself up to jump out of a small plane at over 13,000 feet is frightening enough, but to be told at the last minute that it has to be postponed due to bad weather, and then have to go through the whole thing again four days later, would be enough to test the strongest of nerves.
But that's exactly what happened to the daring staff from Venture New Generation Portraits.
Northern Ireland Manager Julie McBride, from Lisburn, accompanied by telesales staff Roisin Robertson and Catrina McKeever swopped the comfort and safety of the studio for starring roles in their own spectacular photographs - shot in the air when they took part in a recent sky dive for local charity TinyLife.
It did make us that little bit more nervous second time round," said Julie.
"But when you're hurtling through the air in freefall at 120 mph, it's one minute of fun you just wouldn't get any other way, followed by an amazing five minutes of descent after your parachute opens and you get the chance to look around at the countryside below."
The girls carried out their sky dive with the Wild Geese at Garvagh in County Londonderry. But while Roisin and Catrina were facing their sky diving fears for the first time, Julie knew just what lay ahead. She and Venture photographer Michael Nethercott, also from Lisburn, did the jump for TinyLife last year too and, said Julie, who clearly got a buzz from the experience: "I promised I would try to do it every year until I'm too old." In choosing a charity to support, the girls were unanimous in their decision that any funds raised should go towards helping the work of the TinyLife charity for premature babies in Northern Ireland, celebrating its 21st anniversary this year.
For the third year running Venture has joined together with the charity to produce a fundraising calendar, with Venture photographers taking time out to capture the fun and the emotion of working with babies and children whose start in life came sooner than expected, and often not without difficulties.
To date the girls have raised just over £2,000. Anyone wishing to donate can do so by visiting the wesbitehttp://www.justgiving.com/Julie-McBride-Tiny-LifeSkyDive2009 or contact the girls on 028 9068 7577. If you would like to buy the TinyLife 2010 calendar contact Venture, or TinyLife on 028 9081 5050.
Venture Photography's NI Manager Julie McBride is snapped hurtling earthwards with instructor Steve Kerr on a tandem sky dive for the TinyLife premature baby charity.