'HOME' Winner announced

For the 2023/24 ILFORD Photo student photography competition we set the theme of 'Home'. We asked students to show us what home meant to them. That could be a person, place, object, or hobby that embodied the feeling of 'home'.

As always, they rose to the challenge and entries started coming in within weeks of the competition being launched. By the closing date of 31st January 2024 we had received hundreds of entries from students based all over the world showing us their version of home.

Darkroom printing

A lot of time and skill goes into shooting these images on our ILFORD or Kentmere black and white films and then printing them in the darkroom to a high standard. The quality of teaching from lecturers, technicians and educators was reflected by the difficulty that the judges have every year in choosing a winner.

And the winner is....

We are pleased to announce that the winner, and recipient of the title of ‘ILFORD PHOTO International Student Photographer of the Year 2023/24’ has been awarded to Katie McLair  from Stamford College.

Ilford photo Student competition 2023/24 Winners image by Katie McLair

Katie captured her image on ILFORD HP5 Plus film and printed it on ILFORD MULTIGRADE RC Deluxe Pearl paper.

We asked Katie what winning the competition means to her. 'When I found out I had won, I was initially shocked but overall I am very proud to have my work recognised by the judges. I thoroughly enjoyed this year's brief on ‘Home’. It was initially challenging, however I soon grasped my understanding of home and how I wanted to present this. I have always loved the processing of film due to the slow nature, as well as having this opportunity to work in the darkroom to print on a larger scale.' 

Steven Butter, lecturer at Stamford College added: 'Katie has always enjoyed using the college's amazing darkroom facilities, we are all very proud of her achievement.'


This year’s runner up prize goes to Gracie Healey from Arts University Bournemouth. Her image was shot on Kentmere Pan 400 35mm film and was printed on ILFORD MULTIGRADE FB Warmtone paper.

When we told Gracie that she's been awarded the Runner Up prize she replied with. 'Entering the ILFORD Photo Student Competition and finding that my image has been awarded the Runner Up prize is incredible. Working with ILFORD materials has really allowed me to explore my passion for working in the darkroom making Fibre based prints. They really are the leaders in this field, and I encourage any students using their products to enter future competitions. Thank you, ILFORD, for such an amazing opportunity.' 

Ilford photo Student competition 2023/24 Runner Up Gracie Healeys Image of somebody on a sofa in a patch of sunlight

From the judges

Matt Parry, Head of Marketing was impressed with both the quality of the entries and the interpretation of the theme. He said, 'Every year we look forward to seeing how students have used our products to bring the theme to life. We never fail to be impressed by the quality of the prints that make it through to the final judging. There is always plenty of debate as we review and make the shortlist but the winners really stood out. We felt they not only addressed the theme perfectly but were beautifully shot and printed.'

Thank you

Our thanks go to the lecturers and technicians who are committed to providing such a high standard of photographic education. This competition could not run without their support.

Next Competition

The 2023/24 ILFORD PHOTO student competition will be announced on the website and @ilfordphoto social media channels shortly.