A Shropshire photographer has received international acclaim for her work.
Budding photographer Amy Bray (31) is opening a new family portrait studio in Wellington, Telford, Shropshire, after reaching the final of the fiercely contested Guild of Photographers Image of the Year competition which attracted 16,000 top class entries worldwide.
Her stunning image of a multi coloured rose bearing intricate Covid safety messages in the creative and digital art section of the competition caught the eye of highly respected judges and praise from the competition organiser.
Guild Director Lesley Thirsk said: “To have an image recognised by the Guild in the monthly competition is difficult enough. So to have an image selected as being one of the best in a category for the end of year final is without doubt an incredible achievement and shows just how talented a photographer Amy Bray is.
“One of the Guild’s aims is to drive standards and creativity amongst photographers. Our competition certainly does that as the standard of the entries we see each month is quite staggering.”
Amy, a mother of two, from Telford, who studied art and design at Telford College and the University of Wolverhampton, swapped an office job to specialise in portraits of newborn babies, children and families after the birth of her first daughter, five years ago.
A family house fire last year has led her to move her small Telford home enterprise to a fully fledged business with shop premises in Bell Street, Wellington, due to open at the end of the Government’s Covid lockdown.
“I love photography. It really is my passion,” said Amy, who is married to Dan who is also involved in the business.
“I had decided I didn’t want to go back to work in an office and I set up the business working from home. I taught myself how to edit digital photography on YouTube and I also trained with a photographer from Leeds and gained a qualification from the Guild in working with babies and children.
“I put my all into my images and to be recognised for this with a gold award is a huge achievement. I was in complete shock when I found out that I had been shortlisted from so many amazing images.”
Amy added that the lockdown had meant many new parents had been unable to get treasured portrait photos of their newborn babies.
Her award winning rose image is one of ten to go forward to the annual Image of the Year final. The competition, described by organisers as “an emotional rollercoaster” for the entrants, involves photographers vying to win most points by entering their best on-line images each month, culminating in the final with the overall winner due to be announced in February.
The Guild is a highly respected UK based association for photographers which also has members from overseas. To view Amy’s prizewinning image alongside stunning photos from fellow contestants visit www.photoguild.co.uk