Posted: Sat 15th Jul 2023

Wrexham University: Photography project celebrates power of storytelling

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Jul 15th, 2023

The inspirational stories of individuals who have demonstrated immense fortitude and resilience are the subject of a special project by a Photography and Film student at Prifysgol Wrecsam/Wrexham University.

Katie McCormick, a final year student at the university, has captured portraits – and the emotionally charged stories – of people, who have shown courage in the face of adversity, as part of her final major degree project.


From secondary breast cancer patient turned campaigner, Lisa Jones; community first aider, Bethan Jones; to Lee Small – a man who has previously been awarded the title of World’s Strongest Disabled Man, Britain’s Strongest Disabled Man twice, the European Championship and a multitude of British powerlifting competitions – they are just some of the individuals who have featured as part of Katie’s project.

University Chancellor, Colin Jackson CBE was also one of Katie’s subjects for the project – and her portrait of Mr Jackson has seen her land the title of Midlands Regional Photographer of the Year with the British Institute of Professional Photography.

Speaking after discovering her award success, Katie said: “Being able to sit down and interview these incredible people, who not only shared their personal stories with me but also allowed me capture their portraits was an absolute joy and a privilege. From start to finish, it’s been wonderful to work on and a truly special way to round off three wonderful years at the university.

“For me this project was all about the power of storytelling. I know the old saying is ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ but actually – and maybe I shouldn’t be saying this as a photographer – understanding a person’s journey definitely makes you view their image in a different way, you see them in an even more powerful light, if that’s possible.

“For each individual that I captured, to go alongside their portrait, I created a mini magazine, which detailed their story and the journey, in which they’ve been on. It’s been the most beautiful work I’ve ever produced.

“I’m extremely thankful to all of the fantastic men and women, who have trusted me with their stories by agreeing to be a part of this project.

“It also feels amazing to have had this work recognised by the British Institute of Professional Photography.”

Katie’s work as part of this project was exhibited at the recent ‘Overture’ exhibition, which featured the works of the university’s final-year Art and Design students.

Stephen King, Programme Leader for Photography and Film, added: “I am enormously proud of Katie for this truly engaging and compelling piece of work. She has given her all to this, so it’s wonderful that she has been recognised by the British Institute of Professional Photography – an organisation with real historical and international industry significance, especially for a project that focuses upon community.

“I’d also like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of our fantastic final-year students for their dedication and effort in making this show happen. The huge success of the ‘Overture’ exhibition was a culmination of everything they’ve learned over the past three years informing and enabling their individual aspirations as graduates, each and every student put so much into it and it definitely showed.”

Last year Katie was also named the winner of Studio Portrait Photographer of the Year Award by The British Institute of Professional Photography, as well as achieving first and second place with the Accredited Professional Newborn Photographer’s International’s Fall 2022 Competition.

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