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With my dad’s death and my sister very ill, this has been, once again, a difficult month for blogging. However, my work has continued as busy as ever. Every year in September and October term restarts in schools, colleges and universities, and this creates opportunities for a freelance photographer. As a South London photographer with links to the Salvation Army, I often photograph their special events and also do the formal and informal portraits for each year’s intake at their traning college – William Booth College, here in Camberwell, SE5.

William Booth College is a superb collection of buildings, with the focal point being the tall tower rising above the entrance. The design is unmistakeably the work of the architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott – anyone who knows Liverpool’s anglican cathedral or the Tate Modern would recognise his work immediately.

As a campus, the college is by some way the most impressive ecclesiastical training institution I know of in the UK. Classroom facilities are excellent, the redevelopment of the area between the main building and the large Assembly Hall as a multi-purpose social Hub, the library and computerisation – all of it speaks of continued investment. And the prime land available is striking – there has been enough space to redevelop part of the site to house a new Salvation Army Territorial HQ, planned to be opened next year.

Photo of the college here taken using the remarkable Samyang 10mm f3.5 lens – getting the whole of that tower in from the bus stop opposite takes some doing!

As I mentioned in the last article, the new session of cadets has a photoshoot before the welcome meetings proper officially launch them into college life. This year I was given the brief of working with them to get varied informal pictures as well as their formal “full uniform” portraits. In the event, it was these “informal” portraits which have been most used – both at the welcome meetings and in Salvationist magazine.

The welcome meetings were a bit later in the year than usual – happening over the first weekend in October. Main speakers were the Territorial Commander, Anthony Cotterill, and Assistant Principal Althea Bawden. Lighting was a particular challenge on the stage at the Saturday night meeting this year – I had to do lots of corrective work in post to get people’s faces back to the right colour!

A bit of a challenge with the stage lighting!

The beautiful Defenders of Justice centrepiece

The Defenders sing their Sessional song on Sunday morning

Judith Payne, College Principal

Powerfully expressive dance from Erin

It was a good welcome weekend. The Defenders of Justice look like an interesting and lively session – I envy their teachers! I expect and hope to get to know them better during the course of their two years at the training college.

Photos taken with Nikon D5 and D800s, mainly with 24-7-, 70-200 and 200-500mm zoom lenses © copyright Andrew King Photography

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