31 January 2023
The students, who all study A Level Photography at Queen Margaret’s School for Girls, have been given the chance to do group workshops and individual sessions with Simon, who is spending four days at the school this term. Simon’s visits include workshops on the technique and artistry of lighting in a studio environment and in natural environments, as well as one-to-one sessions to help students enhance their photography portfolios. Simon commented; “It has been a great privilege to work with such enthusiastic and creative students. Their commitment to producing innovative photography is inspiring and the support they are given by the staff team ensures they produce work which stands up against the most critical evaluation. I hope this is the beginning of a long association with Queen Margaret’s School, perhaps establishing a model that can be rolled out to other schools across the country.”
With over 30 years’ experience as a professional photographer, Simon has been published in National Geographic Magazine, The Observer, The Sunday Times and many UK and European newspapers and journals. He is the first British winner of the International Art Portrait Award, a former Kodak Professional Photographer of the Year and, in 2019, was named British Professional Photographer of the Year. Most recently, Simon has been a contributing photographer to “Generations: Portraits of Holocaust Survivors” a major national exhibition now showing at the Imperial War Museum North, in Manchester.
Founded in 1853, the Royal Photographic Society is one of the world’s oldest photographic societies and is honoured to have HRH The Princess of Wales as its Patron. It is an educational charity committed to bringing photography to everyone. The students at Queen Margaret’s have eagerly spoken about what an incredible experience it is to be tutored by Simon. Pau (Lower Sixth) said “I was so excited to tell my parents about it!”. Hattie (Lower Sixth) also commented “I really feel like I learnt a lot from Simon and can now put that back into my own work”.
The school has recently created a dedicated photography studio on site and Photography is one of four Art A Levels including Fine Art, Graphic Communication, and Textile Design. In total there are 30 different A Level courses on offer in the Sixth Form.
Head of Art at Queen Margaret’s, Sarah Porritt is excited to see the outcome of Simon’s visits; “Spending such valuable time with Simon is an exceptional opportunity for the A Level Photography students. They have produced some outstanding pieces of photography and I look forward to seeing how the skills they are gleaning from Simon continue to influence their A Level work. I am sure the experience will inspire them in the future as many of our UVI students are going on to study creative degree courses after QM.”