VIDEO: Our man gets highly commended at regional news Oscars

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HIS photos capture the life and times of the Stratford Herald area – and once again the brilliance of our very own Mark Williamson has been rated among the best in the business.

Today, Friday, the results have been announced for the Regional Press Awards for 2019 and having made it onto the shortlist in the Weekly/Sunday Photographer, Mark was highly commended – the runner-up in his category.

Mark Williamson’s portfolio

That’s three highly commendeds and a win in the last four years, rightful acclaim for his exceptional  work on the Herald titles.

He had to submit a portfolio of photos from the hundreds he took in the year and after much debate in the Herald office, picked a combination which drew high praise from the judges.

The three photos, embraced a touching scene from Remembrance Day, a moment of celebration from Stratford’s big cricket final – and a portrait of a sport-loving dog, an image that simply oozed with character. The awards are usually part of a glittering occasion in London but this time the ceremony took place virtually via YouTube. The judges’ comments on Mark’s portfolio included: “An excellent portfolio of pictures across a range of topics”; “A brilliant sport shot of the wicket taker, really captures the emotion”; “There’s a lovely cross-section of work here from hard news, a cracking sports picture and lovely portrait”.

Mark said: “It’s an honour to once again be recognised by the Society of Editors at the Regional Press Awards. Photojournalism plays important part in recording the reality and colour of our daily lives with the past few lockdown months having been particularly challenging working around the district supported by the fantastic team at the Herald. Congratulations to my category’s winner, Stuart Walker at The Cumberland News, a worthy winner who submitted an impressive portfolio of work.”

Herald editor Richard added: “One of the outstanding features of the Herald and our other titles is Mark’s photography. His ability to tell a story through his work has few equals, shown once again by this latest success in these major awards for our industry. As his portfolio demonstrates he is able to find something different to say on every job and his enthusiasm for his work never falters.

“We know he is a much-loved member of our community as he records its life and times.

“In recent weeks we have been uplifted by the support from so many of our readers and advertisers and there is no doubt a huge part of our success is down to Mark.

“I feel truly blessed to have him as part of our team – and I hope our readers will join me in that recognition we are lucky to have such an extraordinary talent in our midst.”

Because of the lockdown the awards were announced online and can be viewed again at https://youtu.be/V0aXH07OFCI