A CLACKS photographer has been nominated for a prestigious industry award for a picture of her son and their favourite pet hen.

Sheila Noble Woodward took the photo a number of years ago for a graded unit assignment while she was at college and recently decided to enter it into the Scottish Portrait Awards (SPA).

Much to her amazement, the photo has been nominated and will now be displayed at the Scottish Arts Club in Edinburgh and then the Mackintosh Gallery in Glasgow.

The Hillfoots snapper is in the Richard Cowan SPA in photography category, which showcases the best photos in black and white. There is a cash prize of £2,000 for the winner.

Sheila, however, says the taking part is definitely all that matters on this occasion.

She told the Advertiser: “It is a really big thing for me and it is really exciting. It’s the first competition I have entered and did not think I would get anywhere with it.

“I am proud of it because it had my son and our favourite hen, Mrs Cholmondeley, in it. I’m not thinking of it as a competition, rather a gallery.

“I have never believed people who say it is about the taking part, but I do now. To have so many people looking at my picture is brilliant.”

After leaving Alloa, where she grew up, for Edinburgh, Sheila then found herself in London working for the BBC film unit before moving back up to the Wee County, settling in Tillicoultry.

She went on to teach film and media studies at the University of Stirling before deciding she wanted a proper photography qualification, which she obtained at Carnegie College, Dunfermline.

Sheila regularly used her son as model for her photos as he grew up and says she suspects he is quite happy about being displayed in the galleries.

She continued: “He was 13 at the time. He is pleased about the picture as he has been model for years now. I think he secretly is very pleased.”

Sheila, who has three kids, also has her own photography business Wren Fine Arts Photography.

The 59-year-old detailed how she came up with the name for the business.

She said: “The initials [REN] are for my dad, Ronald Edward Noble. He was, and still is, my inspiration.

“He did lots of photography and movie-making; was a founder member of the Hillfoots Camera Club back in the 60's; judged competitions, and gave me my first camera when I was six. I've still got it and it still works.

“He was a civil engineer and a well-known, popular face in Alloa – even though he was a Londoner.”

The photo will be on display in Edinburgh from November 3 until December 1 before it moves to Glasgow from January 21 until February 9 of next year.

The winner of the award is expected to be announced on October 31.