Jennifer Woolnough-Rai and Jade LA Fisher Finalist in the AOP Student Awards. Trudie Ballantyne Couse Leader of Editorial & Advertising Photography is Runner Up in the AOP Lecturer of The Year Award. The Editorial & Advertising Photography is Runner Up in Course of The Year category.

In the flurry of activity that marked the end of the final module of our third year, it was announced that the AOP Student Awards for 2022 was open for entries…so myself and several others thought, why not have a go? The submissions could be three in total, all of which were free to submit. They could be single images in separate categories, or a series entered just into one. The categories were People, Places and Things, and the brief for entrees was non-specific, leaving room for interpretation.

Jade Fisher’s entry images

With such broad scope, I decided to enter one piece of work for each of the three separate categories, thinking that this would stand me in better stead for winning something…maybe. My choice for the ‘People’ category was work from my FMP which was about compounded grief.

This piece of work appeared to be emotive, and was an expression of my emotions when denied being able to see my father before he died, as we were all in lockdown due to Covid. My work for the ‘Places’ category was a composite of a girl in the woods, and was a conceptual Image created to portray this dark place of grief, but with a light place in the background alluding to hope for the future.

My third, and final submission was into the ‘Things’ category, which was an image taken on a slow shutter speed, of daisies in my father’s garden, blowing in the wind. This image was shot not long after his death, and was the last time I ever visited his house, as it was sold shortly after that. It was this image that was chosen by the judges to be entered into the exhibition and the AOP finalist 2022 book, to be printed in due course.

The awards did not just include student finalists, but also ‘Course of the Year’ and ‘Tutor of the Year’ awards. Jade had entered an amazing series of work from her FMP about hidden disability, and had also been chosen as a finalist, so we decided to take Trudie along for the announcements, as a bit of a jolly.

Jade and I did not win our categories, but It really didn’t matter. We were just pleased to have been chosen as finalists, exhibited in the show at the Truman Brewery in London as part of the yearly Free Range Photography festival, and included in the AOP finalists year book. Trudie, however, was runner-up in both the ‘Tutor of the Year’ and ‘Course of the Year’ categories. Well deserved congratulations to Trudie and all of the team, who make the BA Hons in Editorial and Advertising Photography at the Uni of Gloucestershire such an industry led, successful and progressive course! A grand day out, and a fitting end to our University Degree!

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