Monday, July 04, 2016

Audrey Kelly ASWPP

Independence Day.

In recent years, more and more females  have shown just what they can do within what was once perceived to be a very much male dominated profession, this can only be applauded. I would think that it must be very close to 50-50 men v women today.

Welcome to another young lady who is setting the pace with exceptionally high standards for others to follow in her footsteps. Audrey Kelly, based in  Dungiven, Northern Ireland who only started her business in 2012  is rapidly making a name for not only her business, C2 design and her clients but in a much wider context in the professional world of photography.

Audrey is first and foremost a wife and mother to two children, so how she manages to fit everything that she does into her business and every day life, one can only begin to imagine, she is a bundle of energy, never short of conversation and very genuine. Once she has your trust, you have a loyal friend. Something a mentee, mentor relationship requires.

I first met Audrey at SWPP in 2014 during the SWPP conference in London, she expressed interest in my mentoring services, guiding her her towards her qualification journey and improve her work towards her goal.

 I asked her what she wanted and she replied, to become qualified within the SWPP, I asked if she was already at Licentiate level, her reply was,

 "no, however, I would like to eventually get Fellowship". So, no shortage of  confidence there ".

Admirable  to set your sights and to aim high I thought. I then asked what genre she would like to qualify in? Her response , " both wedding and portrait ". That was something that took me by surprise as most photographers want to specialise in one particular genre. I looked at her work which was of a good standard in both styles, however, she needed direction and I felt it would be a considerable period of time before she would have work exceptional enough to submit a panel at Fellowship level, however,  I told Audrey it would be possible  get her wish if she was prepared to work, albeit not Fellowship at this point, but a starting point for her to progress.

  I felt that Audrey was not quite prepared for me to be so honest and candid about the work and point out what I considered to be quality work for clients, but not necessarily up to standard to go anywhere near to Fellowship. Honesty and integrity for both mentee and mentor  
 has to be total.

I think at that stage, Audrey needed time to take stock and I did not hear from her for a few months, thinking that perhaps she had decided to wait until she was in a stronger position as a starting point.

Eventually I was delighted to receive a call from her saying that she was now wanting to start the process of improvement. It was decided to work on two styles to gain her Licentiate, both wedding and portrait. Audrey then went on to say,

  " this work has to be mine, I do not want to copy anyones style "

During the work evaluation and assessment period we undertook, Audrey said that she takes huge inspiration from  horror movies, often watching them until the early hours of the morning. She adored the cinematic quality and wished to bring that into a personal project she was doing. At this point, I was thinking,  nutcase, then she went further and said she often visited clairvoyants ( Mystic Meg ).
Personally, I do not believe in all that mumbo jumbo, however, it turns out that she predicted stardom for Audrey, who am I to argue ?

This particular portrait above, was entered into the PPANI awards and Audrey was delighted to take first prize and earn the title of , PPANI Photographer of The Year, a huge honour.

Creative time followed in  France for a couple of weeks took place in 2015 which proved to be so fruitful. 

Upon return, she contacted me and we looked through the complete set. I was amazed at what she had managed to achieve, I suggested we should submit a panel to SWPP for January 2016, top secret with nobody but the two of us aware. I felt that we had enough to get an Associateship. I said it was a shame that she had not taken more images as it would have had a very strong chance of gaining her a Fellowship. She replied;

  " no worries, I have something else in mind "

 Not only has she enjoyed wining competitions for her work in the UK, but following on from her outstanding achievements at the SWPP conference in London, Audrey is currently receiving  enormous success  internationally after her recent entries into the WPPI,  Las Vegas in 2016.

 It was at this convention where her fine art work was assessed as being of outstanding quality, creatively and unique, make no mistake with competition entries coming from all over the world this would have been a very tough arena in which to have your work assessed.

 I am certain within the space of a few years we will all be drawing inspiration and admiring her work.

This print scored 92 at WPPI 2016

I am certain we will discover an awful lot more about her work and progress, her attitude is one of complete dedication to her craft, to be seen as one of the very best in Ireland and much further afield. I can see her becoming one of the future influencers in photography, already she has been invited to speak at the SWPP conference in 2017, where I am sure her classes will be full with delegates keen to listen to what she has to say and show.

Once Audrey decides to do something, she does it, throws herself headlong into whatever work she is currently doing, it may be wedding, portrait or her fine art work, which is where her heart lies strongly.
 She is prepared to travel to learn from the very best tutors available, willing to invest both financially and a considerable amount of time away from her family in her quest for personal and professional development. Interestingly, Audrey travels extensively to attend workshops that appeal to her, USA and Europe recently.

Printing by Paul Williams 01202 732211

So, there it is, many congratulations Audrey, it might be time to visit Mystic Meg once more:)

More of Audrey Kelly at and my instagram accounts @c2photoanddesign @akfineart and @akellyphoto


kevin wilson photography | wedding photographer | dorset