by Christina Lauder Published 01/06/2015
She admits: "Years ago, when I first heard about these professional levels of qualification I dismissed the whole idea because I never thought I would need to bother. But now the truth is that each time I gain a qualification or an award I feel completely driven to get another one.
I have discovered that competitions and awards actually serve to drive my creativity. I know that doesn't work for everyone but it certainly does for me. And the added value is that every client of mine has the potential to be a part of the next award win. You never know who's going to walk through the studio door, what they are going to be like and what you might be able to create."
She adds: "I am really proud to gain my Fellowship at The Societies. I spent the whole of last year dreaming about it, thinking about the panel I needed to produce and then planning for it.
"Now it's just such an amazing feeling of accomplishment. I thought the 'high' would have evaporated after about a month but it hasn't." Colin Jones, a director at The Societies tells Litebook: "Christina's Fellowship Award is very well deserved. Fellowship is attained by just 1% of our membership and Christina worked tirelessly to reach this level. She became an Associate four years ago and achieved the ultimate FSWPP honour at The Societies' 2015 Convention."
He adds: "Qualifications like these provide a fantastic opportunity for photographers to gain both professional kudos and priceless feedback on their work. The process of having images critiqued and approved help photographers to self-examine their work to a much higher level."
Christina launched her photographic career just nine years ago. She moved to the UK from Toronto as part of a job transfer in her former commercial world of IT and software sales.
"I left work to have my daughter in 2003 and then found it almost impossible to get back into the IT sector", she reflects.
The fact is I had wanted to be a photographer from eight years old - but in Canada you don't go to university to study photography. I used to think that like actors and rock stars, only a few photographers could ever make a decent living at the profession."
She decided to take the plunge and pick up a camera plus four Bowens monoblocs. "I knew this would be my dream job and if I became a professional social photographer working from a home-based studio, it would afford me sufficient flexibility to be there for my children but still enable me to do what I loved doing."
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