It’s time for another edition of Student of The Month. Each month we pick a student who we feel has outdone themselves and really shown their love of the art of photography. The Student of the Month also receives a £50 gift voucher that can be redeemed against any of our courses.

Photography Student of the Month – June 2014 – Rachel Ennis

This month, we shine the light on Rachel Ennis. Rachel is a former student and runner in the 2013 Photoion Photography Awards.

We sat down with Rachel and asked her to tell us how she got into photography, her journey, and a little about her creative process.

“My husband bought me my first DLSR two years ago, for my birthday. It was a Canon 550D with a kit lens and 50mm 1.8. He was convinced I would resell it on ebay a few weeks later, but I slowly learnt how to use it. Using the 550D gave me the photography bug and a year later, I upgraded to a 5D MarkIII; and haven’t looked back since!

Splash!

Splash!

Spoon

Spoon

I started out mostly taking pictures of my kids as I wanted to record them growing up and create memories for them. But slowly I got interested in all kinds of subjects, though children and people remain my first passion, together with the sea! As a result I have been able to produce beautiful year books for my girls to treasure for years to come.

Doggy

Dog

I took two courses with Photoion School of Photography, as I have a lot to learn and always want to improve my skills and learn from talented professionals. My first course was the Portrait Photography workshop, led by Ion, who I cannot praise enough for his enthusiasm, knowledge and passion. It was a great and challenging course, which pushed me way out of my comfort zone, but I have learnt a lot about really LOOKING at the light, the direction and quality of the light as well as the environment and the surrounding details that can turn a good shot into a very memorable one.

Afternoon tea

Afternoon tea

The second course I attended was the Black & White workshop, and since then I have really looked at b&w conversion from a very different angle, I learnt the colours that convert well to b&w images and how scenes with strong colours and tonal ranges make for strong b&w images. The detailed tutorial following the shooting session was an eye opener and I now convert my b&w images very differently and much more creatively than before.

Mystery woman

Mystery woman

Getting creative!

Getting creative!

A mystery woman

Mystery woman

I have just completed a 365 photo project on-line (a photo a day for 365 days) to force myself to look and see, push on creativity when stuck in familiar environment and I am constantly learning about Photoshop and other software to enhance and manipulate images.

Breaking the law of gravitation!

Breaking the law of gravitation!

Food photography

Food photography

I was so grateful to the team at Photoion for awarding me second place in their annual awards as well as featuring three other pictures. This was the first time I submitted images and it has definitely given me the confidence boost that I needed to continue and develop my skills further.

A close up portrait

A close up portrait

Magnifying glass

Playing with the magnifying glass

A girl's portrait

A girl’s portrait

I have found and developed a huge attraction for blur, from very shallow depth of field, deliberate out of focus or motion blur and for lack of available models I have done a lot of self portraits which would have been unthinkable for me a while back.

Butterfly Butterfly

I am still limited on time as my girls are still very young but as soon as they are both in school, I am hoping that I will be able to launch a small photography business capturing the best moments and innocence of childhood whilst learning fine art photography for personal projects. For the year ahead; it’s as much learning and practice as I can fit in!

Nostalgy

Nostalgy

I would love to take more courses with Photoion and as soon as I can find the time, I need someone to tell me how to use the speedlite; I have been looking at for the past two years! And maybe one day, I will find the guts to do street photography which still scares the hell out of me!

Foggy landscape

Foggy landscape

Birds

Birds