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Nick Dolding wins at 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

22 March 2018


Wes Anderson-inspired photo wins at 2018 Sony World Photography Awards


Wes Anderson-inspired photo wins at 2018 Sony World Photography Awards
© Nick Dolding, United Kingdom, Winner, Open competition, Portraiture, 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

The Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition is shown each year at Somerset House, and is a must-see on the calendar of any photography fan. This year’s show opens on April 20, but they’ve just announced the winners of the National and Open categories.

British photographer Nick Dolding wins both the Open Portraiture category and the UK National Award for his photo ‘Emile’. Inspired by Wes Anderson’s ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’, the winning entry shows a man in a natty mustard turtleneck and corduroy jacket standing in front of yellow floral wallpaper and two vintage bird pictures. The Shoreditch-based photographer has admitted he likes the photo so much he has it as the home screen image on his mobile.

Now in its 11th year, the Sony Photography Award is the world’s most diverse photography competition. For 2018, they received 320,000 entries. From those, they’ve picked 63 National winners and 10 Open winners. The winners of the Open category are now put through to the next round to win the over-all Open prize, announced on April 19 - fingers crossed for Nick and Emile.

The 2018 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition run from April 20 - May 6 at Somerset House. To find out more, click here.

Lauren Forster on her Portrait of Britain People’s Choice portrait and intimate series

19 March 2018


This was a highly personal and difficult project for me to make: Lauren Forster on her Portrait of Britain People’s Choice portrait and intimate series


Dad in Uniform © Lauren Forster


Lauren Forster’s winning weekly People’s Choice portrait is part of her ongoing ‘Ground Control to Mother Hen’ series, documenting family life since her mother’s brain cancer diagnosis

Lauren Forster is a photographer and lecturer in Lens Based Media at The Arts University Bournemouth. Her work addresses sociological issues and the human condition. Many of her projects have maintained a particular focus on religion, illness and disability. Her most personal series, ‘Ground Control to Mother Hen’, documents family life since her mother’s secondary brain cancer diagnosis in 2016, which has now been rendered inoperable. The series captures strength and fragility during dark moments of pain, struggle and loneliness. The resulting images offer an intimate insight into this period of loss and transition.

Forster’s portrait was selected by BJP’s editorial team as one of their favourite weekly Portrait of Britain entries. It was then voted as the People’s Choice favourite by Facebook users, becoming our first weekly winner. The portrait depicts Forster’s father in his Salvation Army uniform. Since his wife’s diagnosis, he has given up his life’s work serving as a missionary in Africa to care for her in the UK. This portrait reunites him with the sense of purpose and identity that he has lost, and shows his deep sadness and pain.

Day of Surgery © Lauren Forster

Can you tell me about the photograph you’ve entered into Portrait of Britain 2018What is the story behind it?

I entered a portrait of my father, who has been a minister in the Salvation Army for 45 years; the majority of those years have been served abroad as a missionary in Africa. He moved back to the UK in 2016 when my mum’s cancer spread to the brain.

My dad has struggled to find his own identity in retirement, as everything has centred around the care of his wife. During his life as a Salvation Army Officer, he held a number of significant appointments that demanded his time and energy. Now that these responsibilities have come to an end, he feels at a complete loss.

Caring for my mother has been a labour of love for my father, but he feels a deep sense of emptiness in no longer having a clearly defined role within the Salvation Army. He is a strong and proud man who at times feels lost, and yet maintains his sense of humour and has the most profound love for his family. He still attends his local Salvation Army church in Bournemouth where this image was taken. Despite being a retired minister and preaching a gospel of hope for 45 years, his current situation has left him struggling to put into practice what he has preached to so many others.  

The portrait is part of your ongoing series, ‘Ground Control to Mother Hen’. What are your aims for that series?

I have been documenting my family since my Mother was diagnosed with secondary brain cancer in 2016. Since this diagnosis, the cancer has spread to her spine and is now inoperable.

I started the series without a clear view in mind. I did not know whose perspective the images would be from, or what I wanted to communicate; I was simply taking pictures to stay sane and spend time with my family. Individually, the images are straightforward, but together they result in an overwhelming sense of sadness and despair.

The project is driven by the desire to record my deeply personal struggle during this transition in my life. The images are defined above all else by a range of emotional forces that we as a family are experiencing, it is this psychological interior that drives the work. I hope the series will culminate in the publication of a book, and help raise awareness. It has also been shared with the Brain Tumour Charity, who are a fantastic support network.

Mum & Dad © Lauren Forster

Why did you choose to enter Portrait of Britain?

Portrait of Britain is an incredible platform from which to showcase and celebrate the huge variety of people living in contemporary Britain. This was a highly personal and difficult project for me to make. I feel that it is my responsibility to do the work justice, which I hope to do so by showcasing it on such an influential platform.

What do you think makes a compelling portrait?

My practice has always been documentary portraiture, and my work has been driven by my fascination with the human condition, so it is important for me to spend as much time as I can with my subject, building up trust and a relationship. Having a connection with your subject is key.

In my opinion, a good portrait should always stimulate an emotional response from the viewer, encouraging them to ask questions regarding the subject and the broader narrative surrounding the image.

Mum post surgery © Lauren Forster

Do you have any advice for other entrants about selecting a portrait to submitand, more generally, about getting into portrait photography to begin with?

In terms of selecting a portrait to submit, I think that sometimes we are too close to our own work – getting help from people you trust when selecting images to enter can be worthwhile.

When getting into portrait photography, shoot lots of personal work and develop your own approach to making a portrait and interacting with people. Personally, I think the most important aspect of taking someone’s portrait is making them feel at ease.  

Mum’s hair © Lauren Forster

Don’t leave your Portrait of Britain entry until the last minute! Each week, our editorial team will feature their favourite entries online. Don’t miss out on extra exposure! Enter NOW.


More News

Julian Love's project The Europeans


We caught up with People and Lifestyle photographer Julian Love, who has created a new project showcasing individuals from EU countries living in London; called The Europeans.

©Julian Love 

How did you first get into photography? 
Photography was a hobby I picked up at university after a girlfriend got me into it. After graduating I started in a business career but photography became a bigger and bigger part of my life and I took it up full time in 2005.

©Julian Love 

What are you passionate about shooting? 
I really enjoy meeting people and using photography to say something about them.

©Julian Love 

How has your style changed over time? 
These days I try to strip things back more and more and make things as simple as possible.

©Julian Love 

We’re very interested in commissioned versus personal projects; have personal projects translated into commissioned work for you? Or are the two completely separate for you?  
While my personal projects always focus on subjects that I’m curious or passionate about, I also make them with an eye to their commercial relevance. They also allow me to explore new techniques and experiment with the way I want my style to evolve. Projects that are well conceived and executed inevitably translate into commissions, so they’re a great way of helping shape your career and attract the kind of commercial work you want to shoot.

©Julian Love 

Tell us about The Europeans project, how did it come about?  
The project came about due to my frustration with the political situation surrounding Brexit. Friends of mine were uncertain about their future and our government was using them as a bargaining chip in negotiations. So I started photographing them, and then friends of theirs, then people who contacted me through social media, and eventually I hired a producer to help me find people from different backgrounds outside of my own network. Photographically the project was a chance for me to return to basics and work on my own. The portraits are shot using only natural light, just me a camera and a tripod. I would spend 45 minutes to an hour with each person, usually either in their home or workplace. We would talk for a little while and then make some photos. I shot one roll of film, 12 photos, for each. Not having a screen to distract us creates a different relationship with the sitter - they have to trust you more. It’s very satisfying as a photographer.


©Julian Love 

Will the project continue as Brexit unfolds?   
I’ve photographed over 80 people to date, so now my focus is on getting the project out there and into the public realm. I hope it will encourage British people to think about what we are giving up by closing ourselves off to the free movement of people within the EU.

©Julian Love 

What do you think is photography’s role in politics?  
In the past photography has been a powerful tool for change, but now we are saturated with imagery across so many different channels I feel it struggles to have such a big impact. These days I feel its role is more subtle, gently influencing people by humanising issues rather than shocking them into action.

©Julian Love 

What’s next for you? 
I’m researching a new project to shoot later this year, but I don’t want to reveal too much at this stage. It’s a topic that’s been well covered before, but not really from a human angle. I’ll be approaching it in a different way, aiming to show the people behind the story.
See more of Julian’s work here

The full project can be seen here

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Where is she now? In conversation with 2017 Student Awards Best in Show winner Hannah Fishwick

Hannah's image of her grandfather wowed all three judges in the Student Awards last year, and they all came to the unanimous decision of awarding her 'Best in Show' out of 60 finalists and 1200 entries.

We caught up with Hannah to hear what she's up to now.   

© Hannah Fishwick

Hi Hannah! What have you been up to in the last year since the Student Awards?

Since winning the student awards last year a lot of things have happened. I graduated in the summer with a first which I was really happy about and I have begun working on a part time basis as a freelance photographer. I have been planning a lot of projects that I want to do over the next year, many of which are portrait and documentary series.
© Hannah Fishwick

What did winning a category in the AOP Student Awards do for you as a photographer?

Winning the AOP student Awards was so good for my confidence as a photographer. To be recognised for my work made me confident in my style and ideas. This has pushed me to be more ambitious and daring with my work. Another benefit of winning the award is the exposure it has given me. I have been contacted by a few people who are interesting in working with me from seeing my winning image.
That's great to hear! What advice would you give to someone who isn’t sure about entering the Awards this year?

The advice I would give is to enter however confident or unconfident you may be. I was really unconfident about my work and never thought I would win! So you just don’t know until you try!
Both © Hannah Fishwick

What is next for you then, do you have anything in the pipeline?

I want to continue working on my own working and really pushing myself to produce the type of work I want to produce. I want to enter my work into more competitions and try and become more established as a photographer. More than anything I just want to keep taking more pictures!

See Hannah's full website here, and follow her on Instagram

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Marta Kochanek wins first place - Fine Art: Conceptual (Professional), International Photographer of the Year


Marta Kochanek (United Kingdom)


The history of humanity has recorded hundreds and thousands of romances and mésalliances of all kinds. The world witnesses love between people of all nationalities and races. This planet gives room to those attracted to people of the same, opposite and both genders. It is how this world is constructed. It is how it always was.

Love is what motivates us in life. Brain science tells us it is a drive like thirst. The ancient Greeks called love “the madness of the gods”. Modern psychologists define Love as the strong desire for emotional union with another person.

We dig deeper and deeper into brain science, physics and psychology to understand what drives us to name our emotions, to describe feelings. We are desperate to find it, to experience, cherish and keep it. We succeed and we lose. Some people beg for love, some pay for it and some are just lucky to find their second half in this big and richly populated world.

People love. People cheat. People judge. People are brutal. People search for attraction and attention, sex and lust, deep union and long-term partners. We find love to be inspiring. We look for lovers to make it all fresh and intense again.

For her new Lovyer project, Marta portrayed seven relationships that are formed by both the majority and minorities of the whole population that occupies this world. She contrasted old and young, curvy and slim, black and white, straight and gay. Following her research she finds it fascinating to observe and read about lovers, cougars, sugar daddies, gigolos, adorers, secret admirers and cohabitants. She realised that what happens to be silly to majority can be normal to minority. What is obscene to millions can truly be a blessing to the others.


Marta Kochanek is a multi – award Commercial and Fine Art Photographer. Her creative talents were firstly expressed in the form of human – sized sculptures as well as small and very detailed designs of perfume bottles she precisely shaped with a scalpel in her hand. It is where Marta’s attention to detail developed.

Photography has become a medium that let Marta express her analytical observations, dreams and fantasies. Her never-ending fascination of people creates a field that she can fill with moody, thoughtful and eye-catching light. She is annoyingly pedantic and brutally concentrated while she works to achieve her goals. Photography isn’t her job, it is a ‘soul-feeder’ – in other words something that let her breath.

During her continuing career, Marta was offered the opportunity to spearhead a large, independent archival project for Annie Leibovitz in New York in 2011. She then joined the Production Team and assisted Ms Leibovitz on set for shoots for Vogue and Vanity Fair. Her photographs have been shown several times in both group and solo exhibitions, including Mall Galleries in London, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, the MAC - Birmingham, as well as Verge Art Brooklyn and Leslie & Lohman Museum in New York. In 2014, Marta was invited to join the Daegu Biennial in South Korea. In August 2016 her Cognitive Bodies series won her an entrance to Berlin Photo Biennale. 

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Money money money! Keeping your business running & getting paid: Essential advice from AOP's Business & Legal Advisor Nick Dunmur

A business is only as successful as the people in it are at getting the invoices paid on time and the money in your bank account. You can be shooting every day, but if the cash isn’t flowing the right way, it won’t be long before you run aground through lack of funds.

Lots of photographers find the chore of getting paid a difficult one to manage, and it’s not difficult to understand why, after all, being a great image-maker does not automatically mean you’re a great debt-collector - it’s an entirely different skill-set.

The issue is compounded as often, you will be working with, and have a good relationship with, the art-director or creative who commissioned you, but your invoice will be being dealt with by an anonymous accounts department (or single accounts person), with whom you have no relationship at all and who cannot see why they should prioritise your invoice over someone else’s. It pays (literally) to develop a relationship with the accounts teams of your clients, in addition to those who are directly commissioning you, and the bigger the company, the more separated these activities of buying and paying suppliers become.

A recent case involving one of our members who had an invoice to a client remaining unpaid for over a year highlighted the need to be consistent and firm in dealings with the purse-string holders. We were able to get this paid for our member by maintaining contact regularly and not allowing too much time to elapse before raising the issue again. Fortunately, on this occasion, legal action was not required, but in many other cases, it has been necessary to pass the outstanding debt on to a debt collector. This can be a useful lever in asserting your position and there are reputable companies out there who will charge a relatively small fee for collecting an overdue invoice on your behalf. It is fundamentally important to keep these plates spinning, just as much as the ones for marketing, production and shooting, even more so perhaps, as without cash, your business will suffocate.


By Nick Dunmur

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Being Inbetween, by Carolyn Mendelsohn


“Being Inbetween” is a photographic series of portraits of girls aged between ten and twelve, exploring the complex transition between childhood and young adulthood. 



©Carolyn Mendelsohn


Carolyn Mendelsohn has been working on the evolving work for over three years and it arises from her own memories of being this age and the desire to give voice and faces to the young women who inevitably must pass through these mysterious hinterlands on their journey towards adulthood.


14 Heavens

©Carolyn Mendelsohn


 “The series is an exploration, a way of giving a voice to the girl I was and the girls who are; a way to explore the hidden complexity, duality and contradictions that mark this phase of life.” Carolyn Mendelsohn


6 Jamie Leigh

©Carolyn Mendelsohn


The larger than life prints are exhibited with a soundscape crafted from recorded interviews of the girls and woven into an ambient music track edited and composed by Graham Coatman.


5b Alice

©Carolyn Mendelsohn


A selection of the work has toured with the RPS IPE 159/160  - with the portrait Alice wining the gold medal in 2016, Alice was also in BJP Portrait of Britain 2017. The series has been seen online in Huffington Post, Buzzfeed and Bored Panda, and a selection of the work has appeared in La Monde, The Sunday Times, The Yorkshire Post, Click Magazine, The British Journal of Photography, Professional Photography, Amateur Photographer and many other national and international magazines, in print and on line.


4 Gowri

©Carolyn Mendelsohn


3 Abigail

©Carolyn Mendelsohn

2 Maria

©Carolyn Mendelsohn


1 Mabel 

©Carolyn Mendelsohn




The work is being exhibited with the support of the Crossley Gallery, Dean Clough, Halifax;  Anne McNeill,  Impressions Gallery ; Fujifilm Uk, and CC imaging Leeds.

Exhibition venue: Crossley Gallery, Dean Clough, Halifax

Dates 24th Feb – 20th May 2018

For further info contact Crossley Gallery

See more by Carolyn Mendelsohn here  

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Allie Astell 2

Getting the most out of Instagram as a photographer, by Manage My Website's Allie Astell

As a professional photographer, you’re probably already sharing your work via social media, but you might be struggling to get your images noticed on Instagram. ‘Needle in a haystack’ springs to mind.

When the photo sharing app was acquired by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion, it had 30 million users. Five years later, in September 2017, Instagram announced 800 million monthly active and 500 million daily active users. Predictions are that figures will soon hit the 1 billion mark. So how can you make your work stand out and get noticed by the people that matter?

Fear not, here’s a handy guide to help you get there.


If you add the hash symbol ‘#’ in front of a word or phrase you instantly create a searchable link, so if you add hashtags to an image or video, the post will be visible on the corresponding hashtag results page worldwide. So you’re essentially making it viewable by anyone with an interest in your hashtag, even those people who are not following you.

The use of hashtags is fundamental, however simply adding #photography or #photographer to your images is not enough and you’ll need to work a lot harder if you want your photos to be seen.

On 1 February 2018, at the time of writing this article, there were 204,465,631 posts on Instagram using #photography and 74,550,551 using #photographer, so if you’re relying solely on these two hashtags your images will get lost in an ocean of millions of other photos.



For example, if you’re a fashion photographer, adding an appropriate hashtag such as #fashionphotographer (2,260,490 posts) or #fashionphotography (8,978,908 posts) will ensure your images are visible to anyone who searches Instagram for this type of photography.

You can add up to 30 hashtags for each photo but our recommendation would be to use around 8 to 10 in order not to look like spam and to ensure maximum engagement. Make sure that they’re specific to the image that you’re sharing and that they relate to the type of photography that you specialise in.

So if you’re a food photographer in London you could choose from the following hashtags depending on the subject of your photograph, plus any specific terms to your image, such as #icecream, #slowroastporkbelly, or #caviar: 

#foodphotography #foodphotographer #foodphotographerlondon #foodphotographylondon #chefmode #foodporn #gourmet #food #foodie #foodgasm #foodpics #foodpic #foodlover #foodies #foodstyling #dessert #healthy #breakfast #homemade #foodblog #foodgram #dinner #tasty #sweet #lunch #healthyfood #foods #foodspotting #onthetable #foodphoto #foodart #foodshare #foodforfoodies



Interestingly, #foodphotographer has 750,341 posts and #foodphotographerlondon only 278. This shows that if you choose your hashtags wisely, you can have exposure to the masses, but also anyone looking for your specialism can easily find you.

There are plenty of blogs about which specific tags to use for your type of photography if you run a Google search – here’s a really useful example we came across from about food.

Experiment to see which hashtags are most effective and keep rotating through the list to see which ones bring you the most engagement and attract your target audience.

Russian photographer Murad Osmann is the most popular photographer on Instagram, with 4.5 million people keeping tabs on his #followmeto project. Ossman loves nothing more than exploring the world with his wife Nataly, and her impatience - constantly trying to lead him on as he stops to take pictures - he won them a legion of fans. 



©Murad Osmann


Little did he know that he would start a viral photo series when he snapped a seemingly simple picture of his then-girlfriend, and uploaded it to Instagram while on holiday in 2011 with the caption "Follow me #barcelona".  

The couple was spending a few extra days in Barcelona after a work trip when Murad took a simple shot of her walking through a door spray-painted with graffiti, his arm outstretched to hold her hand.  



©Murad Osmann


"She grabbed my hand and pulled me forward," Osmann told Adweek. "I took one photo, and then we published it - that's how we started doing this." 

The couple have now won a book deal and numerous magazine spreads. 

A growing trend on Instagram is to tag a ‘featured account’ or ‘hub’ - use a specific hashtag which they’ve created and there’s a possibility that your photo could be featured on their page. This is basically an account with a huge following and rather than posting their own images they repost/regram other Instagram users’ photos and credit the photographer by tagging them in the caption. 

Your biggest achievement would be to feature on Instagram’s own feed, which has an eye watering following of 230 million.





Blogger Annie Bishop has researched some of the most popular Instagram featured accounts in a range of photography categories. Her blog ‘101 Instagram accounts that feature photography’ was originally published on back in April 2016. Since then, Brian has updated most of the categories and you can find links to these in the original article.




Brian Venth is a photographer and YouTuber with a huge following on social media and a great website – he’s definitely someone worth following if you’re a photographer, model, make-up artist, designer, artist or stylist and you want tips and advice about growing your social following.   

Take a look at the featured accounts in the blogs and you can decide which ones are suitable for your photos. Then when you upload your image, using their hashtag or @ tag/mention their namem and hopefully you’ll get noticed by that account. The links above are a great place to start whilst researching your own featured accounts – there are literally thousands of accounts you could use. 



  1. Make sure that your profile is set to ‘public’ and add a short bio with a link to your website.
  2. Create an attention-grabbing feed with your best work, mixed with more personal/behind-the-scenes updates and always add a caption with each image, using appropriate hashtags.
  3. Check your account every day and upload at least one photo per day. Remember to follow and tag (using @) anyone related to your image – whether it’s a client name, brand name, or the model.
  4. Follow VIPs (people/agencies you want to impress or show a real interest in) – if you follow a lot of accounts and your feed is busy, use the explore (magnifying glass) icon, search for People – and then the specific name of the person you’re looking for, then check what they’ve been posting and interact with them with a like and comment.
  5. Follow ‘featured accounts’ and use their hashtags on appropriate photos.
  6. Check notifications as often as you can each day as on Instagram people expect a fast response and good interaction. Check the notifications feed, then like everything new (unless it’s inappropriate) and comment if you can.
  7. Check for updates tagged with your name or business name - use the magnifying glass icon at the bottom, then conduct your search. At the very least, like the updates by clicking the heart icon but comment if you have time.
  8. Check photos you’ve been @ mentioned or tagged in and respond with likes/comments.
  9. Check private messages and respond swiftly.
  10. Add a link to your Instagram feed on your website, email signature and business cards.




  1. Don’t use too many hashtags as it can make your posts come across as spam. Be sparing and choose them very carefully.
  2. Don’t repeat the same hashtags on every post, no matter what the subject matter is, for the same reasons as in Point 1. Choose your hashtags according to the image.
  3. You might be tempted to buy followers/likes for your feed, but never give in to the temptation! It’s always obvious when someone has done this and it can make you come across as desperate.
  4. Don’t use a service that offers automatic likes or comments on other people’s posts – this also can make your account look as though it’s spam, plus it’s hugely irritating for genuine people reading robotic replies to their updates. These are easy to identify, as they’re usually “Awesome!”, “Good job!”, “We love your feed. Have you seen ours?!”, etc. They’re likely to block you.
  5. Don’t post anything that violates Instagram’s Terms of Use, or God forbid, you could lose your account altogether.


All that leaves us to say is that although Instagram can sometimes feel quite intimidating, you can also get a lot of joy out of it once you see plenty of interaction with your feed. Good luck! We’d love to hear how you got on after following our tips.


Allie Astell founded Manage My Website back in 2009, she specialises in building and developing Squarespace websites ( ), trains her clients how to use the platform and consults on social media. 

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