Tea Gardens photographer, Louise Richards, has added yet another collection of awards to her already bulging trophy cabinet, winning a swag of accolades in this year's Focus Awards.
Louise's work picked up nine bronze awards; six in the amateur and three in the open section from the 2000 plus entries from throughout Australia and New Zealand
In the three years she has entered the prestigious competition, Louise has managed to take home a number of placings and was twice placed in the top 50 in the sunrise/sunset category.
Her passion behind the lens began as a 10-year-old when she received her first camera as a Christmas present.
I am humbled to have my work recognised by photographers who are well known and experienced in the photographic industry.Louise Richards
It soon became clear to both family and friends that she had an eye for detail and creative flair with a camera.
In the early 1990s she purchased her first SLR camera and began taking wedding and portrait photos for family and friends before establishing a small business, Photos by Louise in the Hunter Valley for two decades.
Taking a short break for personal reasons, Louise returned to the industry in 2009 when the family relocated to Booral.
Surrounded by beautiful country landscapes, my passion for photography was re-ignited, Louise said.
She continued her passion when husband Mark and their five children move to the coast and set up home in Tea Gardens.
Today, Louise works primarily as a seascape, landscape and nature photographer.
Most mornings Louise can be found on Bennetts Beach at Hawks Nest, capturing a different angle of the day's sunrise.
Louise said sunrise was her favourite part of the day, a time when she could capture the beauty of nature.
"It is my peaceful time; it is ever changing; I love to be surrounded by nature.
"I get to see these amazing things and to share these moments with people who do not get to."
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Her award winning work was taken during a recent trip to New Zealand's South Island, and at home on Bennetts Beach using a Canon DSLR camera.
"I am humbled to have my work recognised by photographers who are well known and experienced in the photographic industry," she told the Great Lakes Advocate.
"And, I was happy to receive the awards and judges feedback, which helps us to grow as photographers."
Many of my images missed silver awards by one or two points, she said.
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