An amateur who won top honours in last year?s Army photography competition is forging a new career as a press photographer, boosted by winning another major award.

Ian Chapman has been named Student Photographer of the Year by journalists’ trade publication Press Gazette, just ten months after winning Best Overall Image in the Army Photographic Competition.

Ian, a sky-diving instructor, told Amateur Photographer: ?I?m still in a state of shock from winning the Press Gazette award ? totally unexpected, especially as the work of my fellow competitors was so good.?

After gaining work experience as a sports photographer on his local newspaper the Hull Daily Mail, the 45-year-old won a place on the NCTJ course for press photographers at Norton College, Sheffield.

?This was a major culture shock to say the least ? a full-time student again at my age,? said Ian, who lives in East Yorkshire. ?My learning curve was vertical but I soldiered through the course and sat my final exams last month? I?m now waiting for the results.?

He says he is grateful to his course tutor Paul Delmar ‘for taking a chance on a less than youthful student’.

Commenting on one of his winning images (below), Press Gazette judges said: ?His outstanding picture from Helmand Province show a great future in news photography and all seasoned staff should be looking over their shoulders.?

?He demonstrated an overall all-round ability with his entry and any picture desk would have been satisfied with his coverage.?

When Ian won his army photo honours last year, he was serving as a member of the Territorial Army and had never before entered a photo contest.

Picture credit: Ian Chapman

Ian Chapman