Winning Streak for King’s Ely Photography Department!

Ella Martin, a Year 11 student at King’s Ely Senior, has been recognised for her outstanding creativity and photography skills in not one, but two prestigious awards ceremonies.

Ella Martin has received the Highly Commended distinction in the renowned Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA) Supporting Excellence Awards. Her remarkable achievement comes in the ‘Khadija Saye Photography Award’ category, which celebrates the “best photography portfolios by UK boarding school students.” The award pays homage to the respected international photographer and former Rugby School boarding pupil, Khadija Saye, who tragically lost her life in the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017.

Judges were captivated by Ella’s portfolio of portraits, praising her technical skills and the powerful visual impact of her work. Ella’s images were created as part of her GCSE coursework project, titled ‘Portraiture,’ where she skilfully employed various studio lighting techniques and mixed media to enhance her subjects.

This triumph follows closely on the heels of Ella’s victory in the ‘Beyond the Frame’ Photography Competition 2023, organised by the Norwich University of the Arts (NUA). This globally inclusive competition, now in its sixth year, invites photography students aged 11-19 from around the world to participate. The 650 entries from 176 schools across 26 countries were whittled down to 50 shortlisted candidates. Notably, seven students from King’s Ely made this shortlist: Ella, Elliott Hilsden, Sam Clarke, Willis Xu, Euan Henry, Lia Kunis, and Thomas Bateman.

Ella secured first place in the ‘People’ category of the competition, as her image caught the discerning eye of photographer, filmmaker, and educator, Cat Gundry-Beck. Congratulating Ella, Cat wrote, “Congratulations to Ella, such beautiful work!” The NUA website featured a statement by Cat, where she expressed her admiration for the remarkable quality and diversity of the exhibited work, and the profound sense of play and experimentation demonstrated by the entrants.

March witnessed yet another triumph for King’s Ely as Jessica Harding, a Sixth Form student, claimed the prestigious title of International Winner in the ‘2023 ILFORD PHOTO Student Photographer of the Year Competition.’ This remarkable achievement marks the fifth consecutive year that a King’s Ely student, under the guidance of the Head of Photography, Antonio Longo, has emerged victorious in this global competition, outshining hundreds of young photographers from all corners of the world. A panel of esteemed photography professionals selected Jessica as the deserving winner.

Antonio Longo, the Head of Photography at King’s Ely for the past eight years, expressed immense pride in Ella, Jessica, and all the students shortlisted in these esteemed competitions.