Youngster pictures a career in photography after scooping prize

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She only bought a camera six months ago - but talented Heather-Elizabeth Bailey has scooped a major national prize for an amazing photo.

The 14-year-old has just been named outright winner of the Photobox/Childline Young Photographer of the year 2010 in the category for entrants aged 13 to 15.

The winning picture was taken at Portsmouth's greyhound stadium in October, when Heather-Elizabeth set up a photo shoot with her friend Audrey Blanton, 15, who was modelling.

She said: 'We found this sheet of glass or plastic which I immediately thought could lend itself to different interpretations.

'With Audrey posed behind it, she could either be trapped or even playing hide and seek.

'I also loved the fact that Audrey's red hair and blue eyes complemented the sheet that was speckled with similar colours.

Heather-Elizabeth, a pupil at Charter Academy in Portsmouth, added: 'I'm still pinching myself - I can't believe I won the competition. I haven't been taking pictures seriously for long and I didn't think I stood a chance..

Heather-Elizabeth, of Cottage Grove, Somers Town, bought her 350 digital camera in June with birthday money and had success within two days when vintage clothing shop Rokii in Albert Road, Southsea, displayed her images of a fashion show at the Guildhall.

She said: 'It's been amazing. If I can make a career out of photography or music, my big passion, then I will be living the dream.'

And she is certainly in with a chance, according to the experts. Jemima Wade, Photobox promotions manager, said: 'It is rare to discover such an exceptional all round talent and we believe she'll be the one to watch in the future.'

Dame Sharon Hollows, principal at Charter Academy, added: 'Not only is Heather-Elizabeth one of our academic stars who is on track to achieve her five A* to C GCSEs next year, but she is artistic and musical too.

'Winning this competition gives Heather an amazing opportunity to showcase her talent.'