Kingston resident announced as finalist in national Founders Cup photography competition

A Kingston resident has been announced as a finalist in the national Founders Cup photography competition.

Shaheen Ali, an adult learning support teacher at Kingston Adult Education, is one of just 10 photographers to reach the final round of the competition, which is run by photography association The Guild of Photographers.

The 52-year-old said she was in “complete shock” after learning she was in the final last week. 

“I’ve always been creative and since I was young I’ve always just liked taking pictures,” she said.

“As I’ve got older I just wanted to get back to being creative again and got into the photography side.”

First entry to Founders Cup

Ali took up photography eight years ago and this is the first time she has entered the Founders Cup competition.

Entrants to the Founders Cup competition had to submit three photos on a theme of their choosing.

Ali’s photos are idiosyncratic to say the least.

“I do fine art, still life, with a bit of a surreal edge to them.

“My three images – I did one of a fish and the bubbles coming out of the fish’s mouth are eyes,” she said.

A panel of international judges assessed the entrants to decide which ones would make the top ten.

The images from the 10 finalists will be assessed again in December, with a winner announced at an awards ceremony in February next year.

Guild Director Lesley Thirsk said: “To have been selected to reach the final is a great achievement, and shows how talented Shaheen [Ali] is.”

Community photobook

Ali, who also runs a photography business, is putting together a photography book featuring families and key workers in Kingston throughout Covid-19.

The book will tell the stories of community members from market stallholders to funeral directors living and working in the borough through the pandemic.

The book is planned for a 2021 release with funds raised going to the NHS.

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