Published: 14:47, 14 September 2020
| Updated: 11:44, 16 September 2020
A 'lockdown' photograph taken by a Kent college lecturer has been selected by the Duchess of Cambridge to feature in a National Portrait Gallery exhibition.
The picture, by Zak Waters, shows mum Amanda Jessup, 28, and her son Terrance, 5, as they isolated together at their Folkestone home amid the Covid-19 pandemic .
He took them earlier this year as he exercised around Folkestone and with prior consent from residents.
As well as the picture of Amanda and young Terrance, Mr Waters pictured families and people on their own, children looking bored and one man sunbathing in his doorway.
He submitted several for the National Portrait Gallery’s new digital exhibition, ‘Hold Still’, which is a community project spearheaded by patron of the gallery, The Duchess of Cambridge, aiming to document the spirit, mood, hopes, fears and feelings of the nation as it continues to deal with the outbreak.
More than 31,000 entries were submitted and just 100 images were hand-selected by the Duchess and a panel of esteemed judges to be included in the exhibition.
The other judges included Nicholas Cullinan, director of the National Portrait Gallery, writer and poet, Lemn Sissay MBE, Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England, and photographer Maryam Wahid.
Mr Waters said: "I submitted several images from my portrait series of Folkestone residents during the pandemic, and I’m proud to see one of them selected as a finalist.
"As a lecturer, being able to demonstrate to my students how to adapt to new and challenging situations is vital.
"Hold Still is a powerful reminder that photography can play an important role in documenting and communicating our history.
"I hope that my portrait series and the inclusion of one of my images in this exhibition, can continue to inspire my students to be aware of their surroundings and situation, and to seize opportunities to take photographs.”
Mr Waters is a lecturer at The Edge School of Creative and Business at Folkestone College and has held many of his own exhibitions.
His past clients include the BBC, Ikea, Cocoa Cola and Boots.
His list of accolades include Kent FE Teacher of the Year 2018 and bronze winner in Portraiture London Photographic Awards.
Amanda, who featured in Mr Waters winning picture, said of her experience in lockdown: "During lockdown it was pretty much me and my son, as my partner worked days and days on end.
"We live in a communal flat block on the very top floor.
"The front door is almost locking us away from the world, when we went out we felt almost free.
"Free from being ‘locked' in and free from lots of schoolwork!
"I’ve felt more anxious than I ever have before. My stress levels rocketed.
"Home schooling was difficult, but our bond became really strong as we were in this together."