A TALENTED young photographer is snapping his way to success.
Leon Dodds, from Glebe, Washington, is following his dream of becoming a professional photographer after discovering his love of the art while playing with a camera on holiday.
The 13-year-old found his knack for photos while taking pictures with his first camera last year, while on holiday.
He said: “When I got back I got another camera and really started taking pictures, probably around January.”
The Biddick School Sports College pupil has exhibited his artwork at the Arts Centre Washington.
Leon, who lives with his mother Lisa, 40, said: “There was a big display called the Young Achievers Youth Arts Exhibition.
“I had a display of about eight photos at the art gallery. I have a certificate for that.”
He added: “The school have given me loads of support and I have a lot of stuff planned with them.
“I am going to do a school calendar, and when it comes round to my prom in a few years time I am going to do the photos for that.There was a lady, Lynne Symonds, who is an African tribal chief at the school a few months ago and I took pictures of her.”
Diane Low, senior tutor for Years 8 and 9, said: “Leon is a joy to have in the year group, and he is so modest and low key about his talent.
“I really hope it is a future for him, and we are trying to encourage him in any way we can. He is taking GCSE photography- earlier than he should be – with his art teacher as an extra subject.
“His photos are so beautiful and creative.
“It is so nice when people get in touch with us and say how good they are, then they say ‘how old?’
“And I know his family are supportive.”
Leon, whose dad Lionel Dodds, 46, is divorced from his mum, said: “We don’t have my pictures up at home at the moment, but I know we are getting some printed off to hang up.
“My gran has some that I took of my baby cousin out on display at her house though.
“My sister Chelsea, who is 19 is interested in the modelling side of things, and I have been doing close-ups of people’s faces and things, so I think I will take some photos with her.
“I don’t have a favourite picture that I have taken.
“Mostly I take pictures of landscapes and nature, but I have been doing these close-ups of faces that I really enjoy.
“I would like to make a career of it.”