Lockdown has been both a challenge and a blessing for me as a photographer. Although all hope of making images of people disappeared on 27th March 2020, the opportunity to take stock, revisit personal projects and think about the future does not come along often. In May 2020 I submitted a panel of images to the Master Photographers’ Association (MPA) – the UK’s number one qualifying body for professional photographers. My panel was assessed by industry leaders for both technical and creative quality and I was delighted to pass and receive the title of Licentiate Master Photographer – a big win!
Being a Master Photographer is a dream come true. The criteria are strict and the images must meet standards that encompass technical perfection, lighting, design, creativity, post production and meeting the client’s brief – 3 years ago I saw these standards as impossible to meet except by photographic giants.
It was against this background, that in June I joined a MPA Zoom call where they were awarding the prizes for the South East Regional Master Photographer Awards – in order to support the many friends I have made locally since joining the MPA. I had essentially forgotten that I’d submitted images for the competition because it was way back before lockdown and that seemed a lifetime ago.
Imagine my surprise then when I was awarded two Merits (bronze medals) and two Finalists (Silver medals). Furthermore, imagine if you will a, sleep deprived Mum who hadn’t been out of the house in weeks and had largely forgotten that Zoom means people can see you – sitting with her mouth hanging open, unable to speak and crying uncontrollably after the screen flashed up for the South East Up & Coming Studio Photographer of the Year – it was me!
A Gold Medal and a title – I could not believe it!
I’ve worked hard at perfecting my studio technique over the past few years, although the majority of my work is still outdoors. Cranleigh doesn’t have much in the way of affordable studio space so I’ve been grateful for the support of Cranleigh Arts Centre whose rooms I rent in order to have the space to make some studio magic, that and my tiny studio space at home in the box room, really paid off here.
I’d like to thank the MPA for the award and the title; I’m so excited to start making photos of people again now that restrictions are easing.