UK photographer Steve Jones has struck gold in a competition staged by the Royal Photographic Society (RPS).

[Photo: Steve Jones LRPS]

Steve Jones, a specialist horse photographer from Luton, Bedfordshire, beat 3,300 entrants to take top spot in the RPS’s Members’ Biennial Exhibition, with an image entitled ‘Joie de Vivre’, captured in France.

Steve said: ‘I wanted to photograph this horse to encapsulate all the passion of these magnificent animals in one image and my chance came when it bucked with joy in the shaft of sunlight, hence my title of “Joie de Vivre” – the joy of life.’

Steve started his career as a wedding photographer before launching a pet photographic business in 2011.

The following year, a love of horses led Steve to set up an equine photography business.

Steve recently took part in a horse photography workshop that, he says, rekindled his passion for photography.

‘Horses give me so much back and it was not until I started to work with them that I realised how much they can enrich our lives and regenerate that excitement when photographing them,’ Steve says on his website.

Speaking after his win, Steve added: ‘The Gold Award from the Royal Photographic Society’s Members’ Biennial Exhibition is a real honour and one that I never dreamed would be awarded to an image of mine.

‘It will always rank as one of my proudest photographic achievements.’

Steve’s winning image was captured at a stud farm in the Mid-Pyrenees in September 2014.

The RPS’s Members’ Biennial Exhibition runs at the Grant Bradley Gallery in Bristol until 31 January, before touring the UK.

Upcoming venues include the Harlequin Gallery in Watford, and the Artcell Gallery in Cambridge.

For full details visit www.rps.org/biennial.