Teenager snaps up photo prize

By Robyn Rosen, December 22, 2009
Max Goulde, i-click runner up

Max Goulde, i-click runner up

A severely disabled teenager has won an award for a self-portrait photograph taken after hours of practice with a sensitive remote switch linked to a digital camera.

Max Goulde, 18, has been awarded the east Midlands runner-up prize in the national I-Click Photographic Competition and will have his work displayed at the Oxo Gallery in the South Bank.

As a result of a serious illness at 18 months old, Max has cerebral palsy, quadriplegia, epilepsy and is blind. He is in a wheelchair and requires around the clock care.

Max, a member of Pinner Synagogue, has attended the SCOPE run Rutland House School in Nottingham for 14 years. As part of his art course his teacher set up a sensitive remote switch linked to a digital camera and, after many hours of trial and error, Max was able to co-ordinate his movements so that he could operate the switch and lift his head to enable a self-portrait photograph to be taken.

The photograph was entered into the competition and he attended a prize giving to receive his award.

Max’s father, Jack, said: “The profundity of Max’s impairments makes this a very special award, not just for him but for the extraordinarily dedicated teaching staff who supported him in the creation of the photograph.

“For a young man with his level of disability to win an award in a competition of this type is really quite extraordinary and wonderful for all concerned.”

Jack added that art and horticulture are two of Max’s passions. “With art, it’s not just about seeing, it’s about touch and smell and hearing,” Jack said.

“Max is thrilled to bits about the award.”

Last updated: 4:27pm, December 23 2009