An MA Commercial Photography student who suffered a “huge confidence crisis” during the application process for a national competition has scooped one of its top prizes
At her lowest point, Camilla Murray feared she might not even finish her course, but she went on to win the People category at the Association of Photographers (AOP) student awards.
She was one of only three winners and she credits the remarkable turnaround to the “vast amounts of support and encouragement” from her AUB tutors.
The AOP states that its student awards “are a celebration of the best in photography amongst students” and are an “opportunity to get a first look at the potential stars of tomorrow”.
Camilla’s submission came from a project of hers called “Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails”.
She says it was an “examination of gender identity in boys using the aesthetics of observational documentary, contextualised within art, editorial, and fashion frameworks”.
The AOP describes the People category as an opportunity to make visual comments about the human race and its ways.
And Camilla chose to photograph her nephew Jayden to make a piece of work that addressed some of the complexities surrounding gender.
Speaking about her win, Camilla said it was “most unexpected” and she paid tribute to the AUB staff members who helped her.
She said: “My AUB tutors, Paul Wenham-Clarke and Paul Allen have played a huge role in helping me gain this achievement with both providing vast amounts of support and encouragement.
“They offered fantastic advice on how to take the images to that next level, which for me is crucial considering I don’t have any other training within photography.
“So winning best in category at the AOP student awards means a great deal to me as it’s allowed me to see that I can achieve my goals and has given me such a boost.
“Before entering the awards I had a huge confidence crisis – I didn’t think I would finish the course let alone make it to being shortlisted for the AOP and then to go on to win best in category was all quite the whirlwind really.
“And if I hadn’t received the support from the tutors on the MA course then I probably wouldn’t have, so they will always have my eternal gratitude.”
MA Commercial Photography course leader, Professor Paul Wenham-Clarke, said: “Camilla worked really hard and learnt very quickly. This is a big award and it’s amazing she has won it so quickly after starting the MA in September 2017.
“Camilla joined after a doing a BA Fine Art course so it’s an incredible achievement to do so well after such a short period of time studying photography.”