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RSPCA Young Photographers Award
Mid Air Catch (Image credit: Daniel Zhang)

As the deadline for the RSPCA Young Photographer Awards approaches, Emma Jacobs, an award-winning wildlife photographer and judge of the competition, has gone through the archives to select the best previous entries. Animals hold an incredible power over humans, they can make us laugh from the funny things they do or want to cry through the emotion they show so it’s no wonder they’re a point of for so many photographers. 

Pet and wildlife photography captures the hearts of people all over the world. Whether you’re a professional using one of the best cameras for wildlife photography or a beloved pet owner always snapping on your camera phone, there’s nothing more satisfying than capturing an emotive image of your favorite animal. Now in its 33rd year, the RSPCA Young Photographer Awards provides a platform for aspiring photographers to make their mark. 

Open to anyone 18 or under, over the last 33 years we’ve seen stunning pooch portraits, insanely detailed insect photos and elegant artistic captures of birds in flight. 

The competition breaks down into 7 categories using traditional cameras: Under 12, 12-15 Years, 16-18 Years, Pet Personalities, Pet Portraits, Small World and Portfolio (for up to to 3 different portfolios, each consisting of 5 photos). There is an additional Mobile Phone and Devices category, for non-camera photographs. 

Buda (guilty sofa look)  (Image credit: Wilfred Maidment)

This year’s competition will be judged by wildlife photographers and TV presenters Chris Packham and Rachel Bigsby, former competition winner Catriona Parfitt, photographic guide Ellie Rothnie, and RSPCA photographers Andrew Forsyth and Emma Jacobs. 

The overall winner will receive a weekend photography experience worth £675 (approximately $858 / AU$1,320) for them and a parent or guardian with award-winning wildlife photographer Danny Green’s team. All category winners will also receive a trophy. 

A Summer Shower (Image credit: Gideon Knight)

"You might want to have a tissue ready for looking through our pick of some historic entries," said Emma Jacobs, reflecting on some of the previous award-winners featured here. 

"Some will make you cry with laughter, others will make you weep from the emotion radiating from them – they all showcase what the RSPCA Young Photographer Awards is all about!" 

Entry to this year's competition closes on Thursday 15 August so there is still time to enter!

Also check out the best lenses for bird and wildlife photography perfect for shooting animals far away.

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.