I don't normally like to make a big noise and shout about myself but I think I might make an exception on this occasion because it means such a lot to me - I'm delighted to say that last night I found out I was the First Prize winner of the Jill Todd Photographic Award 2017. This is a competition open to recent graduates from photography courses in Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland. It is especially important to me because so many other competitions seem to assume that the natural result of graduation is a move to London and the fact that this award includes not just a cash prize but also an exhibition and exposure here in Scotland, plus 9 months of mentoring is a massive thing for a mature student who simply has too many ties and commitments to be able to run off to London to be a photographer. I am also especially pleased and humbled because I know that in the past several very good phtoographers who graduated from my course made it into the top three finalists but I'm the first one to actually win it. Communication Design is all too often seen as a poor relation to Fine Art photography, and within Com Des, photography is the most niche of the three specialisms, with most students opting to study graphic design and illustration respectively. I know my former tutor will be feeling particularly happy this morning - but probably not as happy as I am!