Leeds photographer triumph

Two West Yorkshire photographers were snap-happy this week after scooping prizes at the prestigious British Institute of Professional Photography Awards 2010.

Leeds photographer Helen Turton claimed the award for Best Licentiateship Panel at the annual BIPP awards ceremony held at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.

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The award recognises the highest achiever in the 2010 class of 'Licentiates', photographers who have proven themselves to have "an established professional level of skill and competence".

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The former publicity photographer, who lives in Meanwood, said: "I nearly fell off my chair when they announced my name as the winner in this category at the awards.

"I knew I had been nominated but the BIPP has such talented members I really didn't think I had a chance. There were 100 people who qualified this year as a Licentiate and so to be awarded the 'best' was a huge but incredible surprise."

Helen, whose portfolio boasts the stars of Emmerdale, Heartbeat and A Touch of Frost, decided to go freelance in 2007 and has since shot the likes of local triathlete and Olympian hero Alistair Brownlee and 'This is England' star Joseph Gilgun.

Bingley resident Cecilia Costello also received recognition, claiming both the runner-up prize and a merit in the Affiliate of the Year category.

The category recognises professional photographers who are looking to gain their qualification with BIPP.

Cecilia, who specialises in contemporary children's photography, said that the award would really help her to stand out from the competition.

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