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Maria captures rise of Maidstone United

Tuesday 17th June 2014

A STUDENT photographer proved her work was of championship material when she helped to document the rise of Maidstone United.

Maria Coombes (18), who studies creative media at MidKent College, captured impressive shots of the Stones’ players, staff and supporters as part of a project run by the arts organisation FrancisKnight.

Her work was of such a high standard that it will now be used in publicity material for the project, which aims to explore the history of the town’s football club through spoken word, performances and images.

Maria said: “There was a real positive vibe from the Maidstone supporters and I tried to capture that energy in the photos I took. I’m not into football but it was a big confidence-builder to work on a project like this. It improved my communication skills and provided me with the experience I’ll need to become a professional photographer.

“I was so happy to hear that my photos will be used on the publicity material. It made me feel important and that I’d really achieved something. I’ve enjoyed taking photographs for quite a few years now. I love how you can look at things from different angles and make them appear amazing.”

The Rise of Maidstone United will look at the 22-year absence of a permanent home for the Stones and the lost generation of dads and sons attending a Maidstone United match together.

It will also celebrate the good news story behind the new stadium, the huge nostalgia attached to the club, its recent promotion to the Ryman Premier Division and the passion and unconditional dedication from fans.

Laura Knight, a co-director of FrancisKnight with Louise Francis, said Maria stood out as a keen and enthusiastic student.

She said: “Maria seized the opportunity to work with our photographer Ed Thompson. Her black-and-white work in particular has been outstanding, showing a keen eye for composition and human relationships in a documentary style. She is a credit to MidKent College and we are delighted to use her.”