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Is this award-winning pan cake photograph a pan, or a cake?

Winning category image from the 37th AOP awards
'Pan-Cake' (Image credit: Catherine Losing / AOP 2021-22)

One of the most prestigious competitions in professional photography, the Association of Photographer (AOP) Awards was first launched in 1984 and represents excellence, the best of the industry, showcasing existing and emerging global talent. 

This week the Association celebrated its 37th edition of the Photography Awards (opens in new tab) by revealing the Gold and Silver winners across nine different categories, as well as the Open Award category winner.

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Open to all AOP Accredited Photographers and Assisting Photographer members, the awards celebrate photography in all its forms. This year's categories were: Lifestyle, Portrait, Documentary, Environment, Still life + Object, Food + Drink, Fashion + Beauty, Sport and Project.

Looking out from Within (Image credit: Julia Fullerton-Batten / AOP 2021-22)
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Winning the Project category was Julia Fullerton-Batten with her series titled 'Looking out from Within', depicting staged Londoners looking out of their windows during the COVID-19 lockdown period. Silver was awarded to Catherine Losing for her series, 'Portrait of a Village', documenting the Ukrainian village from which her family was taken by nazis in 1942. 

Catherine was also awarded Gold in the Food + Drink category with her image 'Pan Cake', where Silver was awarded to Richard Pullar for his colorful 'Childhood Cakes' series. Only one winner was chosen for the Fashion + Beauty category, with Gold awarded to photographer Rocio Chacon for the 'Moon Growth' photo series.

"When I was little, my mother would give us cake treats. Usually, a Mr Kipling cake with strawberry milk, banana milk or cream. These images are heightened visuals of the anticipation moment from when I was about 7 years old...an increasingly distant memory !" (Image credit: Richard Pullar / AOP 2021-22)
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Taking Gold in the Lifestyle category was Samuel Hicks, with his moving image entry titled Note. Silver was awarded to Igor Emmerich, for his amusing series showing individuals 'Working from Home' in unusual places. Portrait winners were Orlando Gili (Gold) and Charlie Clift (Silver) with images of a butcher and Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London.

Striking images of footballers are showcased in the 'Flying Stars – The Amputee Footballers of Sierra Leon' series by Todd Antony, winning silver in the Sport category, while Gold was snatched by Stephen Ambrose depicting action shots of the Italian game called 'Calcio Storico'. 

Flexible Working Spaces (Image credit: Igor Emmerich / AOP 2021-22)
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Flying Stars-The Amputee Footballers of Sierra Leon (Image credit: Todd Antony / AOP 2021-22)
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Winning the Documentary category with Gold was Michael Wharley depicting 'Classical Beats on Brixton Streets: The Brixton Chamber Orchestra'. Silver was awarded to Hannah Maule-ffinch, for her 'Cold water Swimmers' photo series. 

Environment Gold was earned by Tony Gale for his 'Neowise and Old Faithful' image of the Comet Neowise, and Silver was awarded to a moving entry by Alun Callender, titled 'Craft in Process – Gainsborough'. 

Classical Beats on Brixton Streets: The Brixton Chamber Orchestra (Image credit: Michael Wharley / AOP 2021-22)
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Still Life + Object winners were Robert J Wilson (Gold) and Nick Ballon (Silver). Finally, the Open Award category winner taking Gold was Sujata Setia, with a phenomenal series titled 'Changing the Conversation' depicting portraits of those who look a little different, with intent to "reimagine humanity and move beyond the footprints of a world where “majority” is synonymous with “normal"." 

Silver for the Open Award category was awarded to Meredith Andrews, for ‘Flotsam and Jetsam: The Cost of Modern Living’. 

Changing the Conversation (Image credit: Sujata Setia / AOP 2021-22)
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"Our 37th Awards for the Association of Photographers has delivered in so many ways, not least with the wide range of professional photography submitted for this year’s entry but also the exceptional skill and flair on show," said Isabelle Doran, CEO of the Association of Photographers.

"The Covid epidemic meant the latest awards have been put together across two years, so we received many more moving image and series entries this time round than ever before, and as such there is a strong sense of storytelling to the subjects."

Find out more about the Photography Awards at the AOP website (opens in new tab).

"Old Faithful has been photographed many times, in an attempt to make a different image ofit I photographed it at night while the Comet Neowise was in the sky" (Image credit: Tony Gale / AOP 2021-22)
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Beth Nicholls
Beth Nicholls

A staff writer for Digital Camera World, Beth has an extensive background in various elements of technology with five years of experience working as a tester and sales assistant for CeX. After completing a degree in Music Journalism, followed by obtaining a Master's degree in Photography awarded by the University of Brighton, she spends her time outside of DCW as a freelance photographer specialising in live music events and band press shots under the alias 'bethshootsbands'.