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Career Change Prove

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Talented photography student Lee Howell has proved that it's never too late for a career change.

The former sales director took the plunge three years ago when he signed up to a part-time photography course at Stevenson College Edinburgh after 20 years in the watch and clock industry.

And the dad-of-one, who is now studying for an HND in Professional Photography at the college, has seen his hard work pay off after being recognised by judges at the British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP) Awards 2012.

Lee (43), who lives in Trinity, Edinburgh with partner Kelly Homer and daughter Amélie, was awarded the runner-up position in the national awards held at the British Film Institute, Southbank, London earlier this month (March).

His winning image featured an atmospheric shot of ballerina Ashley Hasty modelling a gown by designer Elizabeth Pittock on Calton Hill, Edinburgh.

Lee said: "I was delighted to be recognised by the British Institute as it is one of the most prestigious photography organisations in the country.

"Following a twenty year career in the watch industry I made the decision to pursue my passion for photography. I had decided on a career brake in order to look after our daughter Amélie and had always been an enthusiastic photographer so initially signed up to the course at Stevenson in order to get to know my camera better.

"However, I got on so well on the course that my tutors encouraged me to continue for the HNC and HND course. The tutors and lecturers there encourage you to aim for the top and take your photography as far as you can."

Lee now plans to undertake a BA in Professional Photography at the college after the summer.

He added: "Coming from a sales background I'm fascinated by people and capturing people's emotions through my images."

Alan McEwan, Head of Photography at Stevenson said: "I am absolutely delighted that Lee achieved the runner up award from the British Institute of Professional Photography which attracted entries from universities and colleges across the UK.  

His image is of an excellent technical standard and shows a high degree of originality and imagination.

"Having come into photography as a mature student he is also a classic example of why it is never too late to consider a career change."

Lee's next assignment will be in Paris with the rest of the HND 2 Photography class where they will complete one of their units for the course and have an exhibition in the French capital.


Issued by Beattie Communications on behalf ofStevensonCollegeEdinburgh

Notes to editors:


  1. Based in the west of Edinburgh, Stevenson College Edinburgh is one of the largest further education colleges in Scotland with around 16,000 students enrolling each year
  2. Stevenson College Edinburgh offers a range of courses from introductory courses and NQs (National Qualifications) through to HNDs (Higher National Diplomas), Degree Foundation and Degree level qualifications in music and photography
  3. Over the past year students at Stevenson College Edinburgh have been recognised by the Herald Press Awards, McLaughlin and Harvey Awards and the Association of Photography Awards
  4. The British Institute of Professional Photography Awards took place on March 16th at the British Film Institute, Southbank, London. The awards celebrate the best of British photography