Last week was the annual qualifications judging day for The Master Photographers Association.

This is when photographers hoping to upgrade their qualifications must present a panel of work consisting of 20 images in the discipline they wish to achieve the qualification for. It usually involves one to three years of work until you have assembled a panel that sits together and can demonstrate a distinctive style. The failure rate is very high and the qualification is not widely held.

I took the unprecedented step of entering two panels simultaneously, one in weddings and one in portraits, working on the assumption that as I am both a wedding and a portrait photographer, I should be able to demonstrate the mastery of my craft in each discipline separately.Both panels were based on work undertaken in the last year.

As the two photographers immediately before me both failed, it was with a lot of trepidation that I laid out my panels when my time came.

Both panels passed with flying colours and I became the first ever photographer to achieve two associateships simultaneously, and am the only photographer in the UK to hold both distinctions.

The panels were both based on the landscape of the lake district and were both in black and white. The wedding panel can be seen by clicking on the read more link below.

The portrait panel is based on the work I did onthe MS Calendar project, shooting art nude portraits of local women either with MS or family/friends of MS sufferers. I’m keeping it under wraps for the moment because I want folk to buy the calendar when it launches on sep 7th at the Treeby and Bolton art gallery in Keswick. I will share it some time in the future, although many of the images can be seen at the accompanying exhibition in the gallery.

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