The Great British Photography Challenge ended with a twist: Rankin picked joint winners. Although each and every participant of the series will have a chance to take advantage of the doors that only someone like Rankin can open for them, Tyrone Williams and Jackson Moyles were named co-winners of the inaugural season. I had the chance to speak with Tyrone and Jackson to find out what their participation in BBC's series was like.
Public Offerings Ltd.'s Exhibition
Public Offerings Ltd.'s founder, Ellen Stone worked with Rankin throughout the series to mentor the contestants. Following their win, both Tyrone's and Jackson's work is being hosted digitally by Public Offerings Ltd., located in London.
The exposure of having Public Offerings Ltd. host their work is a big step forward for Tyrone and Jackson.
Take some time to check out a broad selection of Tyrone's and Jackson's work.
Working With Rankin
Based on my recent conversation with Rankin, he seems to be as dedicated to mentoring as he is to photography. Having Rankin as a mentor is an incredible opportunity for up-and-coming photographers. Both Tyrone and Jackson told me that Rankin was always around to sit down and chat. Rankin provided guidance to each participant in order to help them map out how to get their photographic career to the level to which they aspire. Although it wasn't shown in the series, one-on-ones were frequent enough to really help each contestant to grow. Tyrone and Jackson explained that Rankin was always available, always asking what kind of advice would help, always directing and nurturing.
Each episode of the Great British Photography Challenge included a shoot with a guest photographer or someone involved in the photography industry. I was curious which guests had the biggest impact on Tyrone and Jackson's development.
Considering that Jackson is a landscape photographer, it was no surprise that he really enjoyed Thomas Joshua Cooper's appearance. Cooper had the participants work with a large format camera to take just one plate/photo in and around Scotland's Glen Coe. Jackson explained that the contest, as enjoyable as it was, had built up the pressure on him. For Jackson, Cooper's instruction to just go out and enjoy the moment and environment really helped to relieve his stress.
Personally, I really appreciated Cooper's point of view that photography launches its practitioners into both a technical as well as an emotional discovery. To me, this idea mirrors the message of the series that photography can help you to understand not just the world around you, but help you to develop a deeper sense of self. The idea that looking outside of yourself will help you to be aware of your own thoughts isn't a new one, but it is something that the series did well to focus on.
Tyrone found that working with Anna Friel helped push his development to new heights. Tyrone, an abstract street photographer, would be the last to call himself a fashion photographer. So, the challenge of shooting fashion for Rankin was daunting. As Tyrone put it, Rankin helped to write the rule book. Trying to find a way to break those rules in a way that piqued Rankin's interest really pushed Tyrone. Tyrone also credits Friel with encouraging him in creating his images.
Given that Tyrone and Jackson were joint winners, it's no surprise that the lessons that they'll take from the GBPC are very similar. For Jackson, there were certainly a number of tips and tricks that the show helped him add to his toolkit. More than that, Rankin, the guests, and the challenges also helped him to think about his photography with more intention. Rankin and his favorite guests encouraged Jackson to think about what he's shooting and why he's shooting it. According to Jackson, going out to shoot with intention and going out to look for a particular story, have helped him develop his vision as a photographer.
Similarly, Tyrone's experience on the show has helped him to understand that he should be constantly trying to look at other genres of photography through the lens of his own personal vision. For Tyrone, the secret to growth is to branch out into new fields. Taking his own closely held vision into new milieus is a way to constantly test his own vision. As we all know, pressure and self-evaluation build character and vision.
Building on his virtual exhibition, Jackson is looking forward to staging a physical exhibition once COVID restrictions begin to relax.
As a landscape and adventure photographer, Jackson is also anticipating the ability to travel abroad for photography.
In addition, Jackson intends to take advantage of Rankin's offer to set him up with some British bands for shoots. It's no surprise that Jackson really enjoyed the collaborative process in shooting the bands in episode four. Jackson's band images were very successful.
Tyrone is currently finishing up the third volume of his book Ordinary Fragments. Volumes One and Two are already available for purchase.
Developing a stronger personal vision is hard. Tyrone and Jackson worked diligently and should be commended. Please join me in congratulating Tyrone and Jackson on their success and growth over the series.
All images were used with the permission of Tyrone Williams, Jackson Moyles, Rankin, Public Offerings Ltd., and BBC.