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Graduate's photographs win with global agency

16th February 2015

Photographs taken by a Barking & Dagenham College graduate won her the opportunity to attend a weekend workshop run by one of the largest and most well-known photo agencies in the world, Magnum.

People and Places

Catherine Holmes, 30, from Hornchurch, who graduated in 2012 from the College, won the opportunity after entering a competition on Ideas Tap, an online resource portal designed to collate ideas and get people together.

To be in with the chance of winning a place on the workshop, entrants were required to send in a selection of their photographs. Catherine submitted a folio of work based on her travels whilst volunteering in Romania. The pictures feature a series of portraits of local people and landscapes.

Global photography agency

Beating hundreds of other hopefuls, Catherine’s work clearly impressed the judges at Magnum, who gave her one of just 30 places on the weekend course. Magnum, which was set up in 1947 by five photographers keen to work outside the traditional magazine journalism route, is run as a cooperative, whereby the staff support rather than direct photographers. Initially based in Paris and New York, the company now has offices in London and Tokyo and remains one of the best known global photo agencies, so is perfectly placed to help budding young photographers.

During the weekend, Catherine took part in a number of lectures on topics such as book publishing and commissioning work before also having the chance to get advice and tips about her work from the experts to help her progress her career.


Since completing her studies at the College, Catherine has been keeping very busy, especially in her volunteering work. She has run photography workshops with Westminster Mind as well as volunteering overseas for the Love Light Romania charity and is just about to start an art therapy project thanks to an NHS grant within a psychiatric ward in South London.

"Great College"

Catherine said:

“The weekend was brilliant. It gave me a real insight into the photographic industry. To be able to meet people from such an amazing organisation and get their views and opinions has really inspired me.

"I’d also like to say thanks to Barking & Dagenham College for all the support I received while studying with them. It’s such a great College and I really feel lucky to have been able to complete my photography degree there. I miss it!”

Catherine’s work can be viewed on her website,

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