All animal photos are welcome in the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)'s latest photography competition, designed specifically for UK photographers under the age of 19 to show off their skills while enjoying the process of capturing dynamic snaps of both pets and wildlife.
The RSPCA Young Photographer Awards has been running for over three decades. Now in its 32nd year, the competition is designed to challenge younger photographers to get creative, encourage a developing interest in photography, as well as to enable youngsters to gain an appreciation and understanding of the amazing animals we have around us.
Judges for this year's awards include wildlife photographer, TV presenter and RSPCA Vice President Chris Packham, former competition winner and now professional photographer, Catriona Parfitt, professional wildlife photographer Ellie Rothnie and RSPCA photographers Andrew Forsyth and Emma Jacobs.
There are plenty of different categories to enter this year, including two new recently added ones: Pet Personalities and Pet Portraits. All you need is a camera, smartphone or tablet, plus a passion for animals and nature.
The other categories are under 12 (taken with a camera), 12–15 years (taken with a camera), 16–18 years (taken with a camera), under 12 (taken on a mobile/device), 12–15 years (taken on a mobile/device), 16–18 years (taken on a mobile/device), Instagram, Small World and Portfolio.
“'Pet Personalities’ is a chance to capture an animal companion in action, revealing their natural behaviour and character,” shares Forsyth. “From a dog playing ball or a cat playing hide and seek, to a rat enjoying a banana – show us judges just how brilliant you think your pet is.
"Then there’s the new Pet Portraits category, which gives you a chance to show off your photography skills by capturing a more formal portrait of a pet.“But of course we want to see that your pet is still comfortable and happy being photographed.”
Past winners of the RSPCA's Young Photographer Awards have gone on to establish careers in areas of photography, animal welfare and conservation. The high-profile competition attracts attention all over the UK from national media and press, too, with winning images making the front page of local newspapers.
"This is an equal-opportunities competition!" says Packham. "Kids don’t need fancy, expensive equipment to enter. We introduced our mobile phones and devices categories as a response to the world that we live in – most of us are now carrying phones equipped with increasingly good cameras. I've probably taken my best photographs of my two poodles on my phone. Photography isn't always about technical quality. It's about communicating."
Grand prizes for winners involve a weekend photography break with award-winning wildlife photographer Danny Green's team at Natures Images, worth £625 (approximately $770 / AU$1,090), in addition to two nights' accommodation for the winner and their parent / guardian.
The deadline for entries is 16 August 2022 at 12:00 GMT, and winners are expected to be announced in December at an awards ceremony hosted at the Tower of London. Enter now by heading to the awards website where you can find additional information.
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