This ghostly image just won the Photographer of the Year award

Winners revealed in the Societies photographer of the year 2021
Overall winner (Image credit: James Musselwhite / The Societies Photographer of the year)

The Societies of Photographers has announced the winner, as well as second and third place runners up, of its Photographer of the Year award. In addition, three winners were chosen as Photographers of the Year specifically for the 20x16" print competition, judged live at The Societies’ 2022 Convention last week.

The Societies hosts a Monthly Image Competition, from which 12 winners are chosen over the course of the year, all of which are in the running to be selected as an overall winner after 12 months. In total, over 6,600 images were entered by members throughout 2021.

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Receiving the award for overall winner, in addition to winning the category for In-camera Artistry Photographer of the Year 2021, was James Musselwhite from Hampshire, England for the image above. 

His RAW image had the judges in total awe, with one stating: "If that’s straight out of camera, then that’s phenomenal." Musselwhite himself stated "Thank you if you ever liked, shared, collaborated, paid money for, or ever said something nice about our work. I bloody love being a photographer”. 

Second place was Pedro Luis Ajuriaguerra, with an unbelievably detailed macro shot (below)  that judges described as "very, flippin’ good" and said they would display on their wall. It has tons of impact and that extra ‘wow factor’ that’s needed when up against a very high standard of work.

Second place (Image credit: Pedro Luis Ajuriaguerra / The Societies Photographer of the year)

Winner of First Place Overall Photographer of the Year 2022 in the 20 x 16" category was Belinda Richards with her incredibly heartwarming series of images of a puppy maturing into an adult dog (below), with only the ears and eyes in shot. 

The Societies combines a group of organizations including the SWPP (Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers), the MPA (Master Photographers Association) and the BPPA (British Professional Photographers Associates). 

Becoming a member is open to full-time professional, semi-professional and the serious enthusiast, with benefits of joining that stretch from exclusive competitions (including the monthly contests) to 24/7 legal advice, communities and discounts. 

With the mission of being the largest and most proactive organization representing the needs of photographers across Europe, The Societies of Photographers aims to encourage high professional standards and ethics in photography by providing continued training programs and educational resources that will benefit the experienced pro along with newcomers to the business. Find out more at The Societies' website.

Overall winner 20 x 16" category (Image credit: Belinda Richards / The Societies Photographer of the year)

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Beth Nicholls
Staff Writer

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'.