College student snaps up chance to work with esteemed photographer

College student snaps up chance to work with esteemed photographer

An Ayrshire College photography student has been gaining crucial experience under the tutelage of popular Ayrshire snapper Derek McCabe.

Sherylann Thompson, 18 from Ayr, was named Student of the Year for her NC Photography course at the Ayrshire College’s Excellence Awards in 2016 - a ceremony that celebrates the achievements of the College’s top performing students. 

It was at this event that Sherylann decided to approach the official photographer that evening to ask for advice on how to improve as a photographer.

Derek took an instant liking to Sherylann’s willingness to learn, and now the pair are working together in what they call an ‘unofficial apprenticeship’, where Sherylann can gain experience of working with real clients while working towards her HNC qualification in Photography.

Sherylann said “Derek has been very helpful and understands everything.

“I’m quite a shy person, so being able to interact with different people and set up my own photographs has allowed me to come out of my shell a little bit. Talking to people is important part of photography, if you can’t speak to people it makes your job a lot harder.

“Working with Derek has been really beneficial. I’m talking to more and more people and it’s getting easier each time, and I wouldn’t have got any of this experience without Derek’s help.”

Sherylann has been working with Derek - who works on a freelance basis throughout Ayrshire - since August 2016.

Derek said “The progression in Sherylann is noticeable. As she says herself, she didn’t have a lot of confidence in the beginning. She’s been learning how to operate a camera at Ayrshire College and now I’m able to give her the experience to put that knowledge into practice.

“The ability is certainly there, and the confidence is now getting there. When we met at the College’s Excellence Awards, I liked her attitude. She showed she was willing to learn.”

2 March 2017


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