Image lands Hingham photographer top award

A Norfolk man who left his job to set up his own photography business has won an international award.

James Neale quit his job as store manager at Halfords a year ago, and says turning his hobby into a career was the best decision he had ever made.

The 25-year-old, of Hardingham Road, Hingham, was crowned Advertising Photographer of the Year 2010 by the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers with his picture of a Jaguar car he took for his personal portfolio – beating competition from top UK photographer Damian McGillicuddy and Stu Williamson, who runs one of the largest studios in Dubai.

His business was also given another boost this month when he was invited to take shots of James Lester, who came third in the BBC programme The Apprentice, for the wannabe entrepreneur's new website.

On his latest honour, James said: 'I was really proud. It's my first year of business and I've worked really hard over that year pushing my photography. It's a big achievement for me to win it.'

James, who has set up a studio in North Tuddenham, between Norwich and Dereham, hopes the accolade will help attract more clients from the commercial market now he has already gained a steady customer base from portraits and wedding photography.

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