The question of how many people can you get to say "Cheeky" for a nice smiling picture is obviously one of the many considerations for leading camera and photographic equipment company Nikon and Clothes Show Live 2006.

However, they will not simply be standing idly by at the sidelines as the rest of the world drags out one more grin and tries not to blink at the same time as the shutter. The two organisations have announced a new award to build young people's interest in photography and the fashion industry. This, it is hoped, will increase the participation rates in fashion photography and will serve to encourage the best and most talented of the raw talent available to embark on a career in the area.

Say Prada"¦"Prada""¦

The competition, the Young Fashion Photographer of the Year Competition, forms a part of the Clothes Show Live's Educational Bursary scheme. The competition is open to all 16 "“ 25 year olds in the UK and is the first of its" kind to emerge in Britain. It challenges budding artists to use their creativity to the fullest possible extent, capturing the aura of exotic locations, foreign travel and glamorous people without necessarily travelling to find them.

As such, the entrants are allowed to use everyday surroundings in their home or local area to capture this impression. In addition to the purely expressive and artistic element of the application, the entrant must also explain the influences that the artist has drawn upon, incorporating a description of the creative processes from the drawing board. In some cases, quite literally; the application can be accompanied by the preliminary sketches and designs if the applicant feels this will support their application.

The entries must all have been received on or before the 20th of October 2006. The panel of judges selected for the task will then be asked to choose the twelve best entries, which will be displayed at the Clothes Show Live 2006. This event will run from the 1st to the 6th of December at the international conference and exhibition centre the Birmingham NEC. The show itself will play host to the final judging of the twelve short-listed entrants.


The winner of the award will be rewarded both financially and more directly in career development. The victor will receive prize money totalling £2,000, and will be treated to a VIP lunch for four amidst the glitz and the glamour of the show itself. In terms of providing invaluable support and opportunities for breaking into the fashion photography world, the winner will receive a one week placement with a leading photographer and £1,000 worth of Nikon photographic equipment.

The latter demonstrates a considerable investment in the professional paraphernalia necessary for a budding photographer. The Head of Press and PR for Nikon UK, Kate Robinson, expressed the delight of Nikon to be able to work with Clothes Show Live in this respect, saying: "We are really excited to collaborate with the Clothes Show Live for this fantastic competition. Recognising young talent is crucial to the future of the fashion photography industry."

The Clothes Show Live producers are also delighted at the development. Gavin Brown, Managing Director at Haymarket Exhibitions Ltd, had this to say: "This year's addition to the Educational Bursary further increases our commitment to up and coming young design talent and we hope the competition is a real success."

Jethro Marsh

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