This post is around 5 months late! I know, I know, I’m REALLY bad at posting blogs, but it’s something I’m going to focus on a lot more from now on, I promise! This blog is a bit special, and it’s about what is pretty much my career highlight. It’s about when I won Longleat Photographer of the Year competition back in February this year. I love animal photography, so winning this meant a great deal to me.
It all started when I posted that photo above of Anne, Longleat’s rescued elephant on my Instagram. Shortly after I posted, I received a DM from the amazing events team at Longleat asking if they could include and display my image in their competition. Well, this was a no-brainer. Longleat is pretty much our favourite place to visit with the kids, and my favourite place to take photos so how could I say no?
And then, I waited. The DM came in December 2021, and the exhibition wasn’t until the end of February, so it was the longest wait EVER… Or, at least it felt like the longest wait ever! Once the exhibition launched, we decided we’d take the kids for a day out to see the exhibition, and of course, the animals.
So, we went for our lovely day out and walked around the entire Photographer of the Year exhibition to see my photograph proudly on display, and it… wasn’t. I don’t have much belief in myself, or confidence in my work, so I naturally assumed that I’d been messaged in error and my photo wasn’t on display at all. As we rounded the final corner, heading towards the winner’s wall, I was about ready to head off and enjoy the safari with the kids. And then I saw it, my photograph of Anne, with the orange banner, declaring it the winner of the Best Solo Award.
After seeing it, I didn’t really know how to feel and got a bit emotional. Rescue animals mean a great deal to me (we rescued our dog Luna back in 2018) so I already loved the story of Anne being saved, but to have her story now be a part of my story is really quite special. I’ll forever do what I can to help save an animal if it needs help, and having this photograph win an award, and in turn help to tell Anne’s story fills my heart with pride and joy.