After years of snapping the Royal Air Force across the globe, a Leyland photographer has picked up the top award.
Ian Forshaw had been vying for the title of RAF Photographer of the Year since 1996 and says “it’s a real honour to be picked by my peers”.
The 60-year-old, who lived on Balshaw Road in Leyland before moving to RAF Shawbury near Shrewsbury 36 years ago, was selected by his peers and a panel of judges, and says his Lancashire beginnings helped him shape his “fantastic” career.
Before taking pictures of Britain’s royalty, it was Leyland Festival where Ian made his first mark. There and learning his trade at Holden Studios photography shop on Fishergate in Preston.
“I was going to Blackpool College to do a photography course after working all day at the studio,” Ian said. “It wasn’t as easy to do in those days. So much so that when I told my careers officer at school I wanted to be a photographer, they said “what’s your second choice?”
“I then joined the RAF after finishing college and after six years, I was hired by them as a contractor. I’ve been entering every year since the competition opened in ‘96 and it’s brilliant to win.
“It’s a real honour to be picked by my peers and to know that at 60 I’ve still got it. I always say you’re only as good as your last photo so this award means I must still be doing something right. I’m always striving to improve and come up with something different and hopefully I can keep going and enter next year too.”
Talkign about Ian work, RAF Shawbury’s station commander group captain Jason Appleton said: “I am always amazed at the quality of photography that Ian produces and his images always showcase the world leading training delivered at RAF Shawbury”.
And the public now also have the opportunity to help Ian win an additional award. With two out of nine images in for The People’s Choice Award, whittled down from 645 entries, you can vote at http://www.raf.mod.uk/photo-of- the-year- 2016/