Google buys photographer’s shot of seagull eating a chip


A holidaymaker’s 10-year-old snap of a seagull eating a chip is to star in Google’s latest ad campaign.

Amateur photographer Hannah Huxford, from Cleethorpes, took the picture in 2011 on an iPhone 3G in Bridlington, East Yorkshire.

Now the image is to feature on billboards and online adverts for the tech giant’s search service.

Ms Huxford said: “It feels very surreal, seeing it on an advert is a very bizarre feeling.”

The car saleswoman thought it was a joke when she got the first message about the picture.

“I thought: ‘Oh here we go'”, she said.

Eventually she realised it was a serious proposal and had to sign a confidentiality agreement before she realised Google was the client.

The photo was taken when Ms Huxford and her husband had stopped for a bag of chips at the seaside.

Finding themselves “bombarded by herring gulls”, one particularly “cheeky chappy” caught her attention and she turned her lens upon him.

“This one was on the bin and was fearless. It was giving me the eye and was gulping down chips,” she said.

“As soon as we had finished our chips he was off”, she said.

Ms Huxford took a series of photos, one of which was the “money shot” that would catch Google’s eye a decade later.

The photographer, who studied the subject at college and has continued to develop her skills as a hobby, cannot reveal what she was paid for the image’s use.

It has been licensed by Google to be used for 30 days on billboards in England and Ireland, and for 12 months online, she said.

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