Amateurs should not be afraid to enter photography competitions, says the winner of the BT Citizen Photographer of the Year who admits he was persuaded to enter by his wife.

Picture credit: Björn Olsson

Björn Olsson, who lives in Edinburgh, scooped £500 in a contest judged by picture editors from newspapers and news agencies that formed part of the UK Picture Editors’ Guild Awards.

The Sweden-born amateur said this is the first time he has won a competition in his 15 years as a photo enthusiast.

But it nearly didn’t happen.

‘I was pushed into it by my wife,’ Björn told Amateur Photographer.

‘Be proud of your pictures. Don’t be shy – just send them in,’ she had urged him.

Björn, who works for a bank, used a Canon EOS 550D to take the winning picture at the Ruaha National Park in Tanzania.

He plans to use the winnings to help him upgrade his camera kit to a full-frame model.

Asked what difference the win has made he said: ‘It’s motivated me to enter more competitions.’

Meanwhile, Stefan Wermuth from news agency Reuters beat more than 400 press photographers to take the overall title.

A free exhibition of the UK Picture Editors’ Guild Awards winning entries is on show at the Museum of London until 16 March 2104.