A 40 year old, six month pregnant fledgling portrait and wedding photographer from Essex, has beaten off stiff competition from nearly six hundred other ‘hopefuls’ to take the coveted PhotoTraining4U Apprentice of the Year 2010 title.
Tracy Sinclair, who runs Acorn Photography from her home in Perry Street, Billericay, has won an exclusive 12 month contract to be mentored by PT4U proprietor and world-acclaimed, award-winning photographer/lecturer Mark Cleghorn – plus £2,500 worth of products, equipment and software from Loxley Colour, onOne Software, Ray Flash and Lastolite.
After making the shortlist to the final five, a visibly shocked Sinclair was selected as the overall winner by eighty PT4U members present in the Cardiff judging room.
“I was really stunned” she said, “I hadn’t expected to get anywhere near the finals. But as I seemed to be edging ever closer I thought I’d better inform Mark Cleghorn that I was pregnant. I thought to myself that if I did win perhaps it wouldn’t be very cool to have a baby hanging off my camera straps.”
But the PT4U boss made it clear that Tracy’s pregnancy was irrelevant to the award and made no difference at all to him – as long as she would be able to fulfil her contractual obligations over the coming 12 months.
Added Sinclair, a former project manager and business analyst for a major investment bank: “I know Mark is a hard worker and expects his apprentices to be the same. I am used to hard work and I knew the challenge wouldn’t faze me at all.”
“The contract requires the winner to be available for training and mentoring one day a month – but two dates can be adjusted during the year. I just have to make sure my baby is born at a convenient time. It is a huge honour to win this apprenticeship. I know the journey will be incredible over the coming months. Right now I can see what I want to achieve in my head but I don’t have the knowledge yet to make it happen. My time learning from the master will change all that.”
Mark Cleghorn said: “The PT4U Apprentice programme is into its second year and is a massive hit. We had close to six hundred entries this year – but Tracy was the popular choice to take the title. I am thrilled that she wants to work flat out to improve her skills over the next 12 months – and the fact that she is also having a baby simply underlines her determination not to waver in her career ambitions.”
He added: “We provide 21st century-style high quality training online for all photographers at an affordable price. We have a burgeoning knowledge bank of over 500 films on every topic under the photographic sun – and we add new 20 minute bite-sized films every week. Photographers can access this knowledge each week for about the cost of a pint or a copy of Vogue Magazine – and the website and resources are available to all photographers regardless of their ability.”
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