Shildon Photography student’s image features in prestigious Awards Book

The eye-catching milk bath image by Lauren Fletcher that was selected as one of the finalists in the 2020 AOP Student Awards.
The eye-catching milk bath image by Lauren Fletcher that was selected as one of the finalists in the 2020 AOP Student Awards.

Lauren Fletcher, from Shildon, who is studying Photography at The Northern School of Art, has achieved one of the highest accolades available to photographers around the world.

An image by the first year BA (Hons) Commercial Photography degree student is to feature in the prestigious 2020 AOP (Association of Photographers) Awards Book, having been selected as one of the finalists in the category celebrating student talent.

The awards from one of the world’s most highly regarded professional photographers’ associations showcase the best in photography amongst students and aim to help ‘provide that all-important step up to the professional arena’.

By supporting new emerging talent, the AOP Student Awards are ‘an opportunity to get a first look at the potential stars of tomorrow’.

Lauren’s image features in the Finalists’ Gallery in the ‘Things’ category which was curated by Lee Smith, Creative Director of London and New York-based marketing and creative agency Lucky Generals.

Lauren Fletcher
Lauren Fletcher

She explained that her eye-catching shot was done after seeing the trend of images taken in a milk bath being experimented with.

“So I chose to explore this idea too”, she said. “This image was just one of my favourite images from this shoot after editing, as it was well-composed with the objects placed round my sister’s head and the colour of the flowers used make the image more interesting.

“White is considered to be the colour associated with perfection but the floral accents used in this image disregard this by adding an imperfect saturated sense of life. The idea behind the image was to have a dreamy atmosphere to create a simple image that encompassed life’s imperfections frozen in time.”

Lauren said she was pleasantly shocked when she learned about the shortlisting.

“I never expected to be a finalist as I entered to get experience of what the briefs were looking for. Receiving the email I almost didn’t believe it as something like this has never happened to me before but I was happy that people were going to be able to see my work.

She added: “I chose to study photography after visiting an exhibition at Bowes museum when I was younger based on Tim Walker’s photos and became inspired as I wanted to be able to create something as memorable as he did.

“I chose to study at The Northern School of Art because it stood out against the other colleges and universities I visited, with the equipment available to borrow and use and the freedom to explore the style of photography we’re interested in right from the start.

“In the future I would love to be able to own my business or work in a magazine.

“My advice to anyone studying photography would be to tell them to keep shooting all the time, try out new ideas as you don’t know what images you could achieve from the shoot.”


The Finalists Gallery for the AOP Student Awards 2020 featuring Lauren’s image can be viewed here

More of Lauren’s work is featured on her Facebook page @LFPhotosFB and her Instagram page _lf_photos.

Click the link for further details of The BA (Hons) Commercial Photography degree at the School’s Hartlepool campus.

About The Northern School of Art:

  • The Northern School of Art is the only specialist provider of art and design degree courses in the North East, with a further education site in Middlesbrough and a university-level campus in Hartlepool.
  • Its photography course won its own AOP Award when it was named course of the year in 2017. 
  • With over 140 years of experience, The Northern School of Art offers award-winning courses in both further and higher education.
  • The 2019 National Student Satisfaction Survey (NSS) reported that 92% students were satisfied overall with their experience at the School, the highest score of all similar arts institutions across the UK and an increase from 90% in 2018.
  • The average employability statistics for graduates to be in employment or further training six months after graduating sits at over 96%.
  • The Northern School of Art tutors are industry professionals, with a wealth of experience and many are practising artists and designers and the School offers the latest in teaching and learning facilities and uses industry standard equipment.
  • Famous alumni include Sir Ridley Scott and Mackenzie Thorpe.
  • All of The Northern School of Art courses are validated by Arts University Bournemouth.


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