Hot-shot Shaun is snapping 2012 hopefuls

Published: 16 August 2011 at 16:00

Anglia Ruskin graduate is hard at work ahead of London Paralympics

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Shaun Smith, who graduated this year with a BA (Hons) in Photography from Anglia Ruskin University, has been photographing some of the world’s biggest Paralympic stars ahead of next year’s Games in London.

Shaun, who is originally from Huntingdon, has worked hard to balance a burgeoning career with his degree, and his perseverance is paying off.

Shaun said:

“As well as working for a freelance photographer, I signed up to a database for photography assistants, Photoassist, and promptly forgot about until I was approached by company called Parasport Images for a particular job.  They really liked my work and took me on permanently.”

Amongst its major clients Parasport Images, run by Cambridge photographer Dennis Luckett, boasts Olympic sponsor BT, for whom the company is building a portfolio of images.

Shaun has assisted Richard Booth in producing images for the official Paralympics 2012 book, has photographed 400m runner Oscar Pistorius sprinting past famous London landmarks and snapped athletes at the Paralympic World Cup in Manchester earlier this summer.

The 21-year-old believes the best part of being a photographer is the sheer variety of jobs. Shaun said:

“In the past three weeks I have been on a motor boat photographing an Olympic rower, I’ve photographed Elton John in concert for BT and I’ve also been shooting athletes in the studio as part of artwork for London taxis leading up to the Olympics.  It almost makes up for the long editing sessions!

“I think being successful in the photographic industry is 30% about the type of photography and about 70% people skills. I’ve worked for some really successful photographers all of whose work is totally different, but all of whom have something in common.  It is difficult to identify exactly what it is but it is something in the way they interact with their subjects and create an air of excitement.

“Learning from experience is crucial; one job leads to another and if you do your job well this leads to further recommendations.”

Kerstin Hacker, Pathway Leader for Photography at Anglia Ruskin, said:

“The students on the BA (Hons) Photography are gaining work experiences during their studies through a wide range of opportunities.

“Many set up their own business while they are studying with us and hit the ground running after graduation, others are employed by the photography industry locally, in London and internationally during their studies and gain valuable insight into the profession.

“Shaun is a prime example that it is possible to be successful even in this challenging economic climate. All members of the staff team have links with the industry and share opportunities, and the students appreciate the industry guest speakers we bring in.”

There are still places available to study for a BA (Hons) in Photography, starting this September at Anglia Ruskin’s Cambridge campus. For further information, visit www.anglia.ac.uk/clearing

Visit www.shaunsmithphotography.co.uk for more information about Shaun’s work and his current projects.