Hatfield Heath newborn photographer wins international award
- Credit: Rachel Sloan Photography
A photographer whose deep connections with her wedding clients led her to hold baby and family photoshoots has won an international award.
The Master Photographers Association (MPA) has awarded Rachel Sloan the International Newborn Photographer of the Year accolade.
The ceremony had been scheduled for London's Cutty Sark but converted to becoming an online ceremony because of the Covid pandemic.
Rachel was in her lounge in Hatfield Heath, watching the awards unfold with her family.
However, the competition organisers had set up a few surprises.
Rachel said: “The whole family were watching with me and we were literally jumping in the air when we saw my images appearing on screen as a finalist!
"As my name was announced as the Newborn category winner, the doorbell rang.
"I was over the moon to see the MPA chairman Ray Lowe and MPA Director and fellow photographer, Ian Boichat standing there with my trophy!”
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Ian Biochat said: “We were keen to find a way to make it extra special which is why we arranged to present the trophies to some of the UK winners in person.
"I’ve always been a fan of Rachel’s photography, which only seems to get better every year and this win is testament to her hard work.”
The winning image is of a baby boy, who was 10 days old at the time of the photoshoot, within a set up of autumn leaves around a leaf shaped bowl.
Rachel set up her own business Rachel Sloan Photography in 2012 having worked elsewhere, and works from a studio in her home. She and husband also run Expression Photography which specialises in weddings.
Rachel said she was "over the moon" to have won the award and joked that it was just as well they had not been wearing pyjama bottoms out of camera shot for the online ceremony!
“The last few years have been really difficult as a photographer, with nearly six months downtime because of Covid restrictions.
"I am in total shock and feeling a tad emotional about it too! I love being a photographer but didn’t dare to dream I could have won this and I am so so proud!”
She added: "This award means so much to me in recognition of all the hard work and effort, which goes into every shoot.”