The Kennel Club has just announced the winners of the 2018 Dog Photographer of the Year contest, revealing an adorable collection of dog photos that capture a diverse range of canine characters. From playful pups to long-time loyal friends, the winning photographs were chosen from almost 10,000 entries across 70 different countries. Now in its 13th year, The Kennel Club’s international competition comprises ten categories: Portrait, Man’s Best Friend, Dogs At Play, Dogs At Work, Puppy, Oldies, Assistance Dogs, Rescue Dogs, I Love Dogs Because… (for entrants aged between 12 and 17 years old), and Young Pup Photographer (for entrants aged 11 and under).
The overall top prize went to Dutch photographer Monica van der Maden for her image of Noa, the Great Dane, titled The Lady of the Mystery Forest. Entered into the Oldies category, the enchanting photo shows this friendly giant majestically posing in a misty woodland. The photographer reveals, “This picture was made in the early morning in the forest. I wanted to photograph her in a position where she was sitting relaxed next to a tree. When I wanted to make the shot she turned her head to the left to her owner and this was the moment where you could see her soul…Dogs come in all different shapes, sizes and colors. But their heart are all the same filled with love.” Van der Maden will win an original oil painting of her image by award-winning artist Sara Abbott.
Israeli photographer Elinor Roizman won 1st prize in the Dogs at Play category for her image of Lili, the Pomeranian. The cute little fluff ball is captured excitedly chasing a giant bubble on the beach. Other stand-out entries include a gorgeous close-up of Ceylin, a 3 month-old Italian Greyhound by German photographer Klaus Dyber; UK-based Tracy Kidd’s Dogs at Work category-winning group shot of spaniels and retrievers after a long day; and Man’s Best Friend winner Joana Matos from Portugal, whose image of a man and a dog at the beach captures the essence of their faithful companionship.
Many of the winning photographs were taken by a talented younger generation, as well. This includes 11-year-old Mariah Mobley who won the Young Pup Photographer category for her charming snap of her best friend Roxy, the German Shepherd. Mobley reveals, “I took this photo of Roxy, at about 9pm, just before I went to bed. It was dark and she was sitting on our back porch waiting for mom to give her a treat. I used a modeling light and the porch light to put light on her pretty face.”
The first place winner in the I Love Dogs Because… category is 16-year-old Hungarian photographer Tamara Kedves for her group photo of border collies Dash, Royal, Harley, Ženka, and Ryan. She says, “This family photo was taken in a sunny spring afternoon as the last shot of the session. It perfectly expresses what dogs and photographing them means to me: not only the deepest harmony and happiness, but spending time with whom and what I love the most—dogs!”
All of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize winning images for each category will be on display at The Kennel Club, London from July 16th until October 5th 2018. You can find out more about the competition on The Kennel Club website.