AN aspiring photographer received top tips from a professional today (Tuesday, March 26) after winning the first round of a national photography competition.

Eight-year-old Lauren Worsley beat of tough competition to be crowned the Rotary Club of Sedgefield’s under-ten photographer of the year.

The Sedgefield youngster, who attends Red House School in Norton, Stockton-on-Tees, impressed judges with her photo of a duck and a squirrel, which she took using her Fuji Film digital camera.

And, as part of her prize, The Northern Echo photographer Tom Banks passed on some tricks of the trade to help the youngster in the regional and national heats.

“I was really happy when I found out I had won as I did not expect it,” said Lauren. “I took some photos of the ducks in the pond and a squirrel was there too.”

Her mother Sandra Worsley added: “I am really pleased for Lauren and glad she has found an interest she really enjoys.”

Lauren and under-18 winner Sebastian Reichel, 16, will now represent Sedgefield in the regional heat and, if successful, they will be entered into the Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland Young Photographer of the Year finals.

Mel Carr, secretary of Sedgefield Rotary Club, said the standard of entries had been excellent, adding: “I think it is good for children as it encourages them to take an interest in photography and gives them something to work towards.”