Photography Student of the Month September 2014 – Rose Atkinson

It’s time for another edition of Photography 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.

This month it’s Rose Atkinson! We sat down and asked her to tell us her story:

“Daddy made me the toy camera because I wanted to be just like him. Both my parents had SLRs so taking photographs was a part of my childhood.

Aged 3

Aged 3

My first camera was a Kodak Instamatic and for a long time I was only allowed to use black & white film as colour was ‘far too expensive to waste on a child’ ! Since then, I’ve never been without a camera so I’ve been taking photographs for a very long time, but I have only recently started thinking of myself as a photographer.

Swish

Swish

As a child I was sometimes chastised for ‘wasting film’ on images which fascinated me but which others didn’t see the point of. Converting to digital was a watershed. Not only could I finally indulge myself but every image I took became a learning experience as I was able to review and adjust my camera settings to improve the result. I spent 30 minutes taking repeated shots (missing several trains in the process) before I achieved what I wanted with this image of commuters on Charing Cross station, which was taken blind with the camera resting on a ledge and the shutter set on self timer…

A moment of calm

A moment of calm

In 2006 I started a photo-a-day project and kept it up for over 3 years. It was this, more than anything that has helped develop my skills and my confidence as a photographer. I learned to see images everywhere and my PAD project gave me even more scope to experiment with new perspectives.

North Terrace

North Terrace

Fractured

Fractured

My photographic interests range from wildlife to vintage aviation…

Bluebells

Bluebells

Painted lady

Painted lady

Spitfire

Spitfire

…but I’m most passionate about photographing people in their environment.

Smile a lot

Smile a lot

Busker

Busker

The street is my theatre, I can spend hours watching people walking in and out of a ‘set’ waiting for the right image to happen. I look for something that makes me smile, the extraordinary in the everyday.

City of shadows

City of shadows

Working in the heart of London provides plenty of opportunities and whilst most of my photography is firmly SLR based (I use a Canon 5D MKii and Canon 7D, plus a bunch of lenses)

I prefer using a compact camera (Panasonic Lumix LX3) on the street as it’s easier to carry, less intrusive and I can get away with more, pretending to be a tourist !

D’ya think I’m sexy?

D’ya think I’m sexy?

Look the other way

Look the other way

Stop the war

Stop the war

I’m a civil servant working in Whitehall and for the last few years I’ve also been doing some photography in addition to my day job, covering internal and external events, including receptions in Downing Street. Corporate photography is a genre I really enjoy as it exposes me to people, places and events I would never otherwise experience. I don’t have nearly as much time for photography as I would like and so I’m looking forward to being able to do a lot more after I retire next year.

This is what prompted me to do PhotoIon’s Speedlite course recently. Ion is a fantastic tutor and he moved me out of my comfort zone into new territory – I always said I could never work in a studio or do portrait photography… until I tried it!

Cheryl

Cheryl

Cheryl

Cheryl

After the course I immediately bought a reflector and am now considering purchasing a small studio lighting set-up. Ion has opened my eyes and my horizons for the future, so who knows where my camera will take me next ? One thing for sure, I’ll be enrolling on more courses… I have so much more to learn!