After a record breaking year with almost 8,000 submissions for the Kennel Club’s annual Dog Photographer of the Year Competition, the winners have been announced.
Roger Sjolstad from Norway has been selected as the overall winner of the competition with his dynamic image of a young girl and a Great Dane running through water, which was the winner of the ‘Man’s Best Friend’ category.
Speaking about winning the biggest canine photography competition in the world, Roger said: “The photograph is of our ten year old daughter, Tea with our dog Robbie and was taken at a lake near our home outside of Oslo.
“This photo was absolutely not planned, my wife asked me to bring my camera to take a few shots of the dog swimming. My young Dane had never been near water before this evening, so I was quite surprised when he took off into the water and he just ran, ran, ran! He really enjoyed the water. Tea joined him and together they started running towards the shore and there I was with my camera – at the right place at the right time.
“I have always found photography very interesting, I had a darkroom in our basement by the age of twelve but it really took off a few years ago when we inherited three Great Danes and I now combine my biggest interests: dogs and photography.”
The other category winners were: Richard Shore from Cardiff, who won the ‘Dogs at Play’ category with a beautifully timed image of a Border Collie jumping; Susan Stone Amport from Switzerland, whose photograph of a Pointer contrasted against everlasting fields won ‘Dogs At Work'; Ali Trew from Fingringhoe, Essex, who won the ‘Puppy’ category with an adorable image of her Hungarian Vizsla puppy; and Philip Watts from Radstock, Somerset, who won the ‘Dog Portrait’ category with a bold close up of a Cocker Spaniel.
The winner of the sixteen and under category, ‘I Love Dogs Because…’, was nine year old Katie Davies with her unique, creative and comical photograph of her Miniature Schnauzer and Pomeranian hiding amongst a mountain of soft toys. Katie expressed an interest in photography at a young age and decided to spend her birthday money on a camera. Katie composed the image without any help and the results speak for themselves. Speaking about her win, Katie said: “I am happy and excited to have won the competition and when I grow up I would like to become a pet photographer.”
Katie is on her way towards a future in photography as her prize for winning the ‘I Love Dogs Because…’ category includes a personalised dog photography day with award winning professional photographer, Andy Biggar.
Andy joined internationally renowned photographer and artist, Jo Longhurst and Kennel Club Chairman and Chief Executive, Steve Dean and Rosemary Smart to judge the competition alongside dog lovers Kat Smith-Ward and Paul Finch, the people behind O2’s Be More Dog campaign.
One image struck both Paul and Kat and was awarded a special ‘Be More Dog Mention’. Kat explained: “We came across an image of a dog playing in the snow and thought instantly that this embodied the Be More Dog campaign. The photograph, taken by Mary Wilde from Matlock, captures her Coton Du Tulear’s mouth wide open, up on two legs trying to catch a giant snowball. It’s exactly the type of behaviour we love from dogs who, by their very nature, aren’t afraid to try new things and have fun. It encapsulates our campaign beautifully.”
All of the winning images will be on display throughout London’s leading dog event, Discover Dogs which takes place at Earls Court on 9thand 10thNovember.
The Kennel Club Dog Photographer of the Year Competition consists of six categories: Portrait, Man’s Best Friend, Dogs At Play, Dogs At Work, Puppy and I Love Dogs Because – a category specifically for those aged 16 and under.
All winning images from this year’s competition can be found at http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/our-resources/dog-photographer-of-the-year/dog-photographer-of-the-year-2013-winners/
For tickets to Discover Dogs to see the images up close, please visit www.discoverdogs.org.uk/ticket-office.