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Winners recap: Shane Wilkinson

As the Event Photography Awards 2019 draws near, and after gaining so much awareness since the opening awards ceremony in 2014, artist submissions are already coming in thick and fast. The competition is looking to become an incredibly close-call for all categories, however it is still early days...

We thought we would offer a little bit of advice for any photographers who are yet to submit their work for this year’s winner. And who better to give the advice, than a previous winner!

Shane, a self-taught photographer thanks to his Dad’s Box Brownie, is an ex-Army photographer! He dedicated a large chunk of his life to the forces and his dedication mirrors in his photography work, advising both industry professionals and amateurs to never settle for a 'that will do' attitude.

1) Tell us about your background; how did you get into photography?

My interest in photography started after borrowing my Dad's Box Brownie over forty years ago. In my teens I saved up to buy an early SLR camera and basically learnt through trial and error. When I joined the Army at 19, I learnt that the Army had a Photographic Trade, but you could not join directly, only having served in another part of the Army beforehand. After five years in the Military Police, I applied to join the Photographic Trade. Firstly, I had to pass a couple of exams, before being accepted onto the seven-month long course. At the time a civilian equivalent course took up to three years to complete. My remaining seventeen years in the Army were spent as an Army Photographer / Cameraman. Quite possibly the best job I've ever had. Since leaving the Army in 2008, I began working for the Army Press Office, where I still am today, currently the Picture Editor.

2) How did it feel to be part of the Event Photography Awards 2018?

I've been nominated previously but had been unable to attend. It was a similar situation this time around, and I had to re-arrange some jobs to get down to London for the Awards. I literally had to leave straight after the presentations, as I needed to be back at work early morning the next day up in the Midlands. However, the hour or so I was there before the Awards, were well spent talking to the other Photographers' and seeing some of the great work on display.

3) Tell us more about your winning shot ‘Leap Ahead’...

It was taken at City of Salisbury Athletics Club fun event, which they held for their Quad Kids (under 9-10 yr old) and their parents. It was a series of 'novelty' athletic races/events, where the parents were encouraged to compete alongside their children. 'Leap Ahead' was part of the sack-race relay. This was the most impressive shot from this event, mainly due to the children's enjoyment as seen in their expressions.

4) What have you been up to since the awards in April?

Literally straight back to work the next day. A variety of photo and filming tasks as well as doing the Picture Editor role for my colleagues. The biggest job currently is helping to run the Army Photographic Competition which gets judged this month (September), and the Awards will also be in London in October.

5) Do you have a piece of photography or a project that you're particularly proud of in your career?

Nothing really stands out, I've always approached each job with an open mind. The location never mattered, and I've been in a few, it is usually the person or persons I'm photographing that are the most interesting aspect.

6) What advice would you give to photographers starting out in event photography or sporting photography?

Be ruthless with your own work, never settle for a 'that will do' attitude. With regards to sporting photography, find those small events that agencies are unlikely to be interested in to build up a portfolio. Don't be afraid to ask for advice from photographers' whose work you admire. There is nothing new in photography, everything is a re-hash of ideas from years gone by.


We wish Shane the best with his future photography endeavors and to keep us in the loop with any other projects and achievements!

We are now accepting entries for the 2019 Awards! Enter now!


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