Pho­tog­ra­phy adds up for ex-ac­coun­tant Jen

Halifax Courier - - What’s On - By Toby Hig­gins

A WOMAN who gave up a ca­reer as an ac­coun­tant to take up pho­tog­ra­phy a year ago has won a pro­fes­sional award - de­spite still be­ing a stu­dent.

Jen Bray, 41, of Illing­worth, was liv­ing in the Ca­nary Is­lands in 2009 with her hus­band and chil­dren when she de­cided it was time for a change of ca­reer.

Hav­ing lived in Hud­der­s­field be­fore she moved abroad, Jen de­cided she would try liv­ing in Calderdale when she re­turned.

She started a de­gree study­ing pho­tog­ra­phy at Bat­ley School of Arts and af­ter just one year has been awarded the In­dus­trial cat­e­gory of the Bri­tish In­sti­tute of Pro­fes­sional Pho­tog­ra­phy (BIPP) Pro­fes­sional Print Awards - mak­ing her the first ever first year stu­dent to win in a pro­fes­sional cat­e­gory.

“I lived in Tener­ife for a few years but it’s hard to make a liv­ing out there,” she said. “Do­ing ac­counts was stress­ful and meant I was stuck in doors all day, and I was in­ter­ested in art and so when I came home I started a pho­tog­ra­phy de­gree.

“I was en­tered in the stu­dent cat­e­gory but ap­par­ently the judges felt my im­ages were of such a high stan­dard that they should be con­sid­ered in the pro­fes­sional cat­e­gory. To say I’ve only been do­ing the course since Septem­ber, I think it’s pretty amaz­ing.”

Jen said that Hal­i­fax of­fered some great op­por­tu­ni­ties for pho­to­graphs.

“It is a friend­lier place than the larger towns and cities across the UK and it has a wealth of fine ar­chi­tec­ture and his­tory that we tend to for­get about when it is seen on a daily ba­sis.

Now, for the fi­nal mod­ule of her course, Jen and ten course mates are host­ing an ex­hi­bi­tion, ‘ex­hibit A’, for mem­bers of the pub­lic to come in and view her work.

It will be held at the West York­shire Print Work­shop Gallery in Mir­field May 13 un­til mid July.

“We are all pas­sion­ate about pho­tog­ra­phy and push the medium’s artis­tic bound­aries. In­di­vid­ual spe­cialisms within the group range from fash­ion, beauty, ad­ver­tis­ing, fine art and por­trai­ture to ar­chi­tec­ture, land­scape and macro work.”

En­try is free. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.jen­braypho­tog­ra­

Have you achieved some­thing spe­cial? Email: Your­say@hal­i­fax­

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