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RSPCA Young Photographer Awards 2022 open for entries

May 6, 2022

Animal charity the RSPCA has announced the 32nd year of its Young Photographer Awards is now open for entries from under-19s, till 16 August 2022. 

Last year’s competition had over 6,500 entries and this year there are 10 different categories, including two new categories – Pet Personalities and Pet Portraits.

The 10 competition categories are as follows: under 12 (taken with a camera), 12-15 years (taken with a camera), 16-18 years (taken with a camera), under 12 (taken on a mobile/device), 12-15 years (taken on a mobile/device), 16-18 years (taken on a mobile/device), Pet Personalities, Pet Portraits, Small World and Portfolio.

Delightful donkeys by Megan Brown, 15 - the Picture Perfect Pets Winner in the 2021 RSPCA Young Photographer Awards

Delightful donkeys by Megan Brown, 15 – the Picture Perfect Pets Winner in the 2021 RSPCA Young Photographer Awards

Judge and RSPCA photographer Andrew Forsyth commented, ‘Pet Personalities is a chance to capture an animal companion in action, revealing their natural behaviour and character. From a dog playing ball or a cat playing hide and seek, to a rat enjoying a banana – show us just how brilliant you think your pet is. The new Pet Portraits’= category, which gives you a chance to show off your photography skills by capturing a more formal portrait of a pet. But, of course, we want to see that your pet is still comfortable and happy being photographed.’

The popular Small World category will once again feature, having delivered the competition’s overall winner for 2021 with a striking image of a wasp spider by Ben Hancock-Smith, aged 17.

The category was introduced during the 2020 lockdown to encourage young people to create photos close to home while still keeping safe.

Snow stag by Joshua Cox, 7 - the Under 12 Winner in the 2021 RSPCA Young Photographer Awards

Snow stag by Joshua Cox, 7 – the Under 12 Winner in the 2021 RSPCA Young Photographer Awards

Judging panel

The judging panel includes wildlife photographer, TV presenter and RSPCA Vice President Chris Packham; former competition winner-turned-professional photographer Catriona Parfitt; professional wildlife photographer and photographic guide Ellie Rothnie and RSPCA photographers Andrew Forsyth and Emma Jacobs.

Chris Packham explained, ‘This is an equal-opportunities competition! Kids don’t need fancy, expensive equipment to enter. We introduced our mobile phones and devices categories as a response to the world that we live in – most of us are now carrying phones equipped with increasingly good cameras. I’ve probably taken my best photographs of my two poodles on my phone. Photography isn’t always about technical quality. It’s about communicating. As judges we are never quite sure what we’ll get, but our young photographers always deliver. Being involved with this competition is one of the highlights of my year. And if you look at the highlights of the past 30-odd years, they include some exceptional photographs.’

Stingray Steve by Ollie Smith, 12 - the 12-15 Mobile Phone and Devices Winner in the 2021 RSPCA Young Photographer Awards

Stingray Steve by Ollie Smith, 12 – the 12-15 Mobile Phone and Devices Winner in the 2021 RSPCA Young Photographer Awards

The prizes

The judges will award trophies to the winners in each category, as well as crowning an overall winner.

The overall winner will receive a weekend photography break with award­-winning wildlife photographer Danny Green’s team at Natures Images.

Worth £625, this fabulous prize includes two nights’ accommodation for the winner and a parent/guardian.

Other category prizes include Amazon vouchers, photoshoots, Camtraptions photo equipment and trophies – a full list of all the prizes can be found at RSPCA prizes.

The RSPCA Young Photographer Awards are sponsored by the wildlife photography holiday firm Natures Images, the wildlife camera trap company Camtraptions and the nature photography learning and resource centre Wildlifephoto.com.

Hidden Below by Ben Hancock-Smith, 17 - the Small World Winner and Overall Winner of the 2021 RSPCA Young Photographer Awards

Hidden Below by Ben Hancock-Smith, 17 – the Small World Winner and Overall Winner of the 2021 RSPCA Young Photographer Awards

How to enter

Photographers under the age of 19 can upload their images, view past galleries and find out everything they need to know at RSPCA Young Photographer Awards.

The closing date for entries is 16 August 2022.

The winners will be announced in December 2022, at an awards ceremony hosted by Chris Packham at the Tower of London.

Help the RSPCA

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care just visit the RSPCA website or call its donation line on 0300 123 8181.


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