Shropshire photographer encourages people to pick up a camera during lockdown

A Shropshire photographer who created a six-week photography challenge to encourage families to learn and create together during lockdown has received entries from all over the world.

Catherine Evans has been a professional photographer for over 10 years. She specialises in wedding, lifestyle, family and newborn photography.

Six-weeks ago, she launched a ‘six-week photography challenge’, open to families of all ages, to offer photography tips and encourage creativity during this difficult time.

Every Monday, Catherine shared a photography activity on her Facebook page with some hints and tips to help each family.

She also gave examples of how the photo could look and at the end of the week and shared some of the entries on her page along with the weekly winning shot.

The six-week challenge came to an end on Saturday and Catherine has chosen the overall winner as Luci Clark, from Clun.

Catherine said: “Overall I have chosen Luci’s incredible image of a close up of a leaf with dew drops from the macro photography task from week two as the winning photo. This image showed such flair and skill because of the outstanding attention to detail and clarity in the image.

Luci has won a professional outdoor family photoshoot with Catherine at a Shropshire location of their choosing. This will take place after lockdown has ended and she hopes it will be something for them to look forward to.

Luci said: “Catherine’s weekly photography challenges have been great fun and enjoyed by all our family. I’ve always loved photography but having a specific focus for the week has reignited my interest and got me to pick up the camera again. It’s inspired me to get out more and see the world in a different way and with a greater appreciation of nature. Walks are certainly taking a lot longer!”

Two runners up have both won a place on Catherine’s new photography courses, which will launch after lockdown.

Julia Morgan, from near Craven Arms has won a place on the Beginner photography course with her photo from week six, which was ‘forced perspective.’

Millie Neath, aged 12, from Ludlow has won a place on Catherine’s Young Photographer Course, for her photo of her creative self portrait from week four.

Millie’s mum Jayne Neath, said: “Millie is thrilled! We have all had so much fun doing this and learnt so much as well as watching beautiful pictures pop up on Catherine’s Facebook page each week. It’s been one good thing to come out of lockdown!”

The Eddon Family winning a photography gift voucher. Catherine said: “Not only did the Eddon’s enter each week, they had a fantastic team spirit and really competitive entries.

Nicky Eddon, said: “We’ve loved taking part every week. It has really given us something to ponder and experiment with. We would love to carry on the challenges just for fun. We’d like the thank Catherine for making lockdown a little more ‘colourful’.”

Catherine said: “I have honestly been blown away by the amount and standard of entries. I think I received around 90 entries one week so picking the winners has been tough! Subject matter each week included creating a silhouette, taking the camera closer or ‘macro’ photography and taking a creative selfie and reflections.

“We are all experiencing difficult times right now, but I hoped this challenge would give people a focus, as we slow down and get the time to appreciate the world and the people around us.

“I shared a video and post each week explaining the challenge and offering ‘how to’ tips. This wasn’t easy for me as I prefer being behind the camera, but I really wanted to create something to get people’s imaginations working, help them learn about something new and maybe even pick up a new passion.

“Special mentions go to Nyah Willis, Kathryn Weaver, Lynne Upton Roddy and Jodie Griffiths for their entries.

“And I also really want to thank my overseas entries Will Stafford from Vienna and Mhairi Ann Love from Australia! I can’t believe the competition went global!”

Over the next six weeks Catherine is offering special blogs, hints, tips and advice for mums-to-be and new mums who are in the unusual position of being quite isolated at the moment and unable to mix to friends and family.

“I really feel for expectant and new mums right now and next up I wanted to share some tips and ideas on how to take newborn baby photos at home.

“With the country in coronavirus lockdown, many new mums and their families will feel they are missing out on lots of opportunities that in ‘normal’ life, would have been available to them. “They can’t show their baby off to family and friends right now. Which must be very sad and difficult. Missing out on newborn photos is just one of them so as a specialist in this area, I am sharing information on this topic to help them at home.”

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