Competition Judges – Exhibtr Blog

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Competition Judges

Competition Judges

We are pleased to announce the judges for this year’s Student Photography Awards will be Olympus Ambassadors Jay McLaughlin, R. Cleveland Aaron and Nicholas Goodden.

About the Judges:

Jay Mclaughlin

Jay McLaughlin is an Olympus Brand Visionary and has always taken a keen interest in photography. Having originally studied graphic design, he was made redundant in 2006 and suddenly found himself in a position where he had an opportunity to consider a change of direction. “I’ve always been a visually driven and creative person,” he believes. “So I went out and bought myself a DSLR. From that point on, I knew who I was.” Within six months of pursuing his passion for photography outright, Jay secured his first magazine cover. Within a year he was shooting for the nationals. Current work includes fashion and celebrity editorial shoots alongside commercial and advertising projects. Jay admits to flirting with a variety of photographic formats, but says the Olympus OM-D is the first camera with which he has made a deep connection. The love affair has arisen not only due to its stunning image quality, but also its compact size and vintage feel.


R. Cleveland Aaron was born and raised in East London. He spent 11 years working in the city as an Aviation Broker before making a U-turn back to his passion of taking pictures. His early commissions were from the music industry and urban scene, where he made a name for himself shooting creative portraits and urban lifestyle. It was during this period, around 1999, that he first worked with Olympus covering the Winter Music Conference in Miami, The World B-Boys Championship (break-dancing tournament), as well as working with such artists as Goldie, Roni Size and later, Dizzy Rascal and Estelle. Working in the music industry soon led to the fashion industry with labels such as Diesel (which included producing an installation for their London, Covent Garden store), Levi’s and Helmut Lang, to mention a few, as well as being a regular contributor to Graduate Fashion Week. By 2008 he was included in the top 5 Contemporary Fashion Photographers by Milan based magazine Max. But it was his impeccable attention to detail that earned him commissions in advertising for big name brands such as Bacardi, Vodafone, Martini, Nike and YMC (French Connection). His love of architecture keeps him visually inspired forming the basis of his photographic style and passion for understanding light and shapes. His commissions in this field have taken him around the world to photograph schools, hotels, restaurants, museums and many other structures. He will soon be working on an architectural photography book and he continues to assist Olympus in their popular workshops and seminars.

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Nicholas “Nico” Goodden is a half French/English urban and street photographer, Olympus ambassador and cinemagraph producer. With a background in marketing and strength in social media he creates mesmerizing cinemagraphs and short, impactful, seamless video loops. These are used for social media marketing, website video backgrounds and digital displays by his clients which include Peugeot and Adidas. When not busy making cinemagraphs, Nico is also a passionate award winning London Street Photographer and the founder of the Street Photography London collective. His work was published in Huffington Post, The Londonist and Evening Standard and exhibited solo for three months for the opening of the hip Hoxton Hotel in Holborn.

About the competition:

The theme of the competition is “Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle” where we will be encouraging Students to show us their ability to compose a great image. Entrants don’t need to be a professional photographer or on a photography course to enter, just a keen eye and an interest or passion for photography. Entrants must be in full or part time education and 16 years of age or older. 

The prizes:

The overall winner will receive a superb Olympus OMD E-M1 camera that is used by amateurs and professionals alike and loved for both its high quality images and good looks, 2nd place will receive an Olympus PEN E-PL7 and 3rd place an Olympus STYLUS TG 860. 30 Shortlisted finalists will also receive Exhibtr Premium Accounts.

How to enter:

Follow the link below:


Sign up to, form a profile and upload your entries remembering to tag them “olycomp”.

You can submit as many entries as you like, using any make of camera equipment, and the competition is open from now until January 8th, 2016. Results will be announced on the Exhibtr Blog.