A MUCH-LOVED photographer has hit his first milestone having taken photos of Bicester every day for one whole year.

Eddy Xi Gong first started taking pictures of the town on November 5 last year when the country went into its second national lockdown.

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To lift people's spirits he decided to share the photos he took every day on the Bicester Chat Facebook group.

After being inundated with messages from people who appreciated his creative snaps, he decided to keep going with his photos, sharing four pictures daily for the past year - all taken using his mobile phone.

The 34-year-old said: "I’ve received hundreds of messages from people showing their appreciation of my photos, my calendar and my photo book. They love the work I do. Many who have moved out of Bicester say my photos and videos make them ‘homesick’.

Bicester Advertiser: Eddy Xi GongEddy Xi Gong

"I honestly can't believe I’ve done this for almost a year now. I’ve become the talk of the town and many people recognise me when I’m taking photos.

"My photography skills have improved, I’ve met so many new people and my life is totally changed. Taking photos and sharing them has become my ‘new normal’."

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Eddy printed 10,000 postcards sponsored by Bicester Town Council to give away to promote Bicester after lockdown.

Through his photography, he has promoted more than 200 local businesses for free on social media, helping many business owners.

He managed to raise £779 for four different charities this year using his photos as people showed their support by making generous donations. The charities included The Hummingbird Centre, OYAP, Alexandra House of Joy and Bicester Good Neighbours.

Eddy added: "I organised the local hero award last year and awarded the winner Bicester Litter Picker volunteer Jamie Jessett £500. I also gave the 15 finalists a photo book.

"I’ve made many other promotional videos for Bicester Town Council, Bicester Market, St Edburg's Church and some historical buildings - all done for free using my own spare time."

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After the success of this year's calendar Eddy is working on a new one for 2022 as well as another photo book featuring the best pictures he has taken all year.

He is also planning on doing drone videos for each Bicester area for people to watch.

He added: "It’s also for people who have left Bicester and I hope it will bring back their wonderful memories of the town. People can find all the videos I make on my YouTube channel ‘Beauty and Bicester’."

Take a look at Eddy's favourite pictures below

Bicester Advertiser: The view from the top of St Edburg's ChurchThe view from the top of St Edburg's Church

Bicester Advertiser: St Edburg's Church in SpringSt Edburg's Church in Spring

Bicester Advertiser: Pigeons in Sheep StreetPigeons in Sheep Street

Bicester Advertiser: Sheep Street in snowSheep Street in snow

Bicester Advertiser: Bicester VillageBicester Village

Bicester Advertiser: Old St Edburg's SchoolOld St Edburg's School

Bicester Advertiser: Market SquareMarket Square

Bicester Advertiser: Bicester Village in the snowBicester Village in the snow

Bicester Advertiser: Church StreetChurch Street

Bicester Advertiser: Bicester Village Bicester Village

Bicester Advertiser: Bicester VillageBicester Village

Bicester Advertiser: Bicester at nightBicester at night

Bicester Advertiser: Pingle FieldPingle Field

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