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Hornchurch student named as finalist in prestigious photography awards

Helen Taylor was proud of her work but didn’t expect to get so far (Credit: Barking and Dagenham College)

A student at Barking and Dagenham College has been selected as a finalist in the Association of Photographers (AOP) Student Awards 2021. 

Helen Taylor, of Hornchurch, submitted a series about Cockney culture and the migration of East Londoners to Essex. 

She borrowed a neighbour’s Pearly King suit for the project and was shocked by how heavy it was.

It made her think about how the inside of the suit told an interesting story of the hard life it endures while the outside is immaculate. 

The suit that inspired the series (Credit: Helen Taylor)

Helen entered the Things category of the competition and came runner-up to Karo Birger’s series about fish with hooks in their mouths. 

“I was over the moon to be selected as a finalist and it’s an achievement I am proud off,” said Helen. 

“I truly didn’t believe that I stood a chance of getting anywhere close to being a finalist, but I felt quite strongly about the story that the images were telling as I don’t think anyone has really thought about Pearly King suits in this way before.

“The AOP is such a highly regarded association in the photographic industry that to have any kind of endorsement from them is fantastic and would certainly help my career prospects.”

Pictures entered into the competition (Credit: Helen Taylor)

Helen also praised her tutors for the support and passion about photography which helped push her to enter the competition. 

David Bennett, programme leader for photography at Barking & Dagenham College, said: “We are all extremely proud of what Helen has achieved.

“To be recognised by the AOP is a great honour and I know we will see great things from Helen in the future.”

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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