Winners of photography NCE awards announced

The winners of two annual awards for photographers who sit the National Certificate Examination for press photographers and photo-journalists have been announced.

Jemma Cox won the South Wales Argus award for best advance project and Leah McLaren won the Fuji award for best portfolio.

Jemma and Leah were among 12 trainee press photographers and photojournalists who sat the National Certificate Examination for Photographers in November at Norton College, Sheffield.

Jemma, who works as a photographer at the Nottingham Evening Post, completed her NCTJ preliminary training on block release at Norton College, Sheffield.

Jemma said: “The brief for the best advance project we were given was for a night in a museum and I remembered a doll museum I had visited before at Cromwell in Nottinghamshire.

“I knew the project had turned out really well, there were dolls everywhere and it made a great picture. It even turned into a bit of a news story, as I was doing the project I discovered the woman who runs the museum may give it up due to ill health and the future of the museum is uncertain.”

Leah McLaren, who works at the Derby Telegraph also completed her NCTJ preliminary training on block release at Norton College, Sheffield. For the NCE she put together a diverse portfolio of ten shots which included a character study, a sport shot of a boxing bout and a picture inspired by the weather.

Steve Phillips, NCTJ photography chief examiner, said: “The two prize winners produced very high quality work.

“Jemma Cox’s advance project about museums was very well put together and had impact and creativity.

“Leah McLaren’s portfolio was one of four in contention which were of very high quality for photographers at this stage in their careers. However, the overall quality of Leah’s set of ten just edged it for her.”