Competing on Master of Photography

In the third part of our interview with British Academy of Photography student, Wayne Crichlow, we find out what it was like to be a participant on the TV show, Sky Arts Master of Photography.

“It was fairly insane really. It came straight off the back of the commendation I got from Sony which gave me courage to try something different,” says Wayne. Having watched Master of Photography previously, Wayne was in two minds about whether to apply or not but then says “I sent the application, forgot about it and carried on working.”

When the call came in to say he’d been selected for the show Wayne says he was momentarily speechless. “I put the phone down and then thought ‘how am I going to tell work?’.”



A journey of discovery

“When I entered the show my forte was candid street photography,” reflects Wayne. “I knew from the get-go that the show would have various different tasks and all the other contestants would have different strengths; some of them were really good at portraits, some social documentary.” But, as he acknowledges, the whole idea of the show is to bring everybody onto an equal level through the various tasks.

“I went into the show not thinking so much about the end game of winning but more of the journey, can I actually push myself from what I'm currently doing, find my way through the different tasks and, as a consequence, develop more of an understanding of my visual language and where my photography is going?”


Wayne Crichlow competing on Sky TV's Master of Photography (Image courtesy Sky Arts)


Finding his visual voice

While the tasks on the show varied from being waist high in snow shooting the Dolomites in north-eastern Italy, to comical interactions with a pet pig, it was when the documentary style tasks came in that his interest really started to flourish. “I spent some time with a transgender woman and that was an amazing insight into her life, especially being from south Italy where it is very conservative.”

“It was a great experience,” recalls Wayne. “It leant on my other skills which are more  interpersonal - to be able to socialise with people, to get them to reveal themselves and then to take the images that best betray them. And also to work under a strict timeframe – it was all done in four hours: meet, greet, shoot, gone. So there was massive pressure but I was liking it.”

“For an amateur photographer like myself, competing against professional photographers and other amateur photographers, flying around the world, meeting someone like Sebastião Salgado, it was an amazing experience. It’s definitely worthwhile doing. So if you’re thinking about it, just do it to see what happens.”

Inspired by Wayne’s story and looking to pursue your interest in photography? View our full list of courses on our website and read about Wayne’s experience of being a student with the academy.


You can find out more about Wayne and his photography on his website, on Instagram and Twitter @WayneWRC67.


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Written by: Lucy Anderson

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