A Longbridge photographer has gained international recognition by winning significant awards with the Guild of Professional Photographers. 

At the Guild’s Awards night at Crewe Hall, a stunning Jacobean mansion in Cheshire, in February, Claire Osborne scooped prizes in two categories, with one of her category winning photographs also being judged as the Best Overall Image of 2018.

And since the Awards night, hardworking and creative Claire has gone on to achieve ‘Craftsman’ status from the Guild.

Former IT help desk manager Claire had been an avid hobbyist photographer for around 9 years. Then six years ago, after the birth of her third child, Claire decided to make the jump into professional photography.

With support from her husband, Claire Osborne Photography was born and Claire is now kept busy, specialising in baby and newborn photography, portraits and weddings.

Constantly wanting to push improve her art, Claire is a member of the highly regarded Guild of Professional Photographers, whose members are dedicated to enhancing their skills in the art, craft and profession of photography.

The Guild runs an Image of the Month competition and received around 13,000 entries during 2018. Of all these entries, the Guild’s judges choose winners across several categories for their annual awards.

For the 2018 awards, Claire’s images were chosen as overall Images of the Year Winners in the Bird category and the Creative and Digital Art category.

Judges also selected Claire’s flamingo portrait from all 13,000 photographs as the Guild’s Overall Image of the Year – a remarkable achievement when considering the number and standard of the entries.

The stunning flamingo image was shot at Twycross Zoo in Atherstone, where Claire is a regular visitor, photographing the huge variety of birds and animals.

Claire’s Founders Cup winning images

Claire was also honoured to be the first winner of The Founders’ Cup, a new award for 2018. This award was created in memory of the late Roy Doorbar and Ian Gee who founded the Guild – then The Guild of Wedding Photographers – in 1988.

The new prestigious photography award acknowledges what Roy and Ian started, and their aims to encourage photographers to take those initial steps to push themselves.

Photographers in the UK and overseas, who had never previously won an award at a regional, national or international level, were invited to submit a 3 image panel or portfolio with a link or theme.

Claire receiving an award from the Guild’s Director Steve Thirsk

Director of the Guild Steve Thirsk said: “I am both proud and delighted that Claire Osborne has achieved these recognitions with her striking images.

“The Guild has very demanding standards when judging photographic competitions. The judging is undertaken by a panel of internationally recognised experts from a variety of photographic backgrounds, so Claire quite rightly should be delighted with her extraordinary achievement.”

And since the Awards, Claire has earned her ‘Craftsman’ status from five Guild judges, after displaying her work to them. 

Claire said: “this is something I have been working towards since last summer and has been a massive challenge.

“On the day itself I have a collection of prints, an album and some framed images on display as well as all my digital images, these are then judged by a panel of 5 judges, if you get the majority vote a pass you gain your craftsman status, I was beyond thrilled to have a pass from all 5 of the judges.”

Of their ‘Craftsman’ status, the Guild says: “Those that achieve this accolade have demonstrated the finest technical skills and an exceptional creative and artistic ‘eye’.”

We congratulate Claire on her well deserved achievements and we wish her all the best as she strives to develop her amazing photography even further. 

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