“A life changing event” by Michel Zoghzoghi (Lebanon). Overall Winner and Winner, Cat Category. Alex and Max are two rescued kittens. Alex is the shy one. Max is the playful one. Together they form a lethally cute duo. I had more fun taking photos of these two than during my most adventurous wildlife photography trips.
After announcing the finalists last month, the Comedy Pet Photography Awards have revealed the winners of its 2023 contest. Michel Zoghzoghi from Lebanon was named the overall winner for a charming photo of his two rescue kittens.
As a professional wildlife photographer, Zoghzoghi spends a lot of time out in the field, seeking out big cats to photograph. But Alex and Max, his kittens, provide him just as much inspiration behind the lens. “Max and Alex form a lethally cute duo,” he shares. “I had more fun and surprises taking photos of these two characters, than during my most adventurous wildlife photography trips.” Prior to stumbling upon the competition, Zoghzoghi hadn't ever considered pet photography, but enchanted by the photographs he was seeing, he decided to try his hand at it. The results speak for themselves.
Another winner thrilled with her victory is Darya Zelentsova, who won the All Other Creatures category with a cute photo of a tiny ferret out on its first walk. Zelentsova, who hails from Ukraine, is pleased that her win can shine a spotlight on what great pets ferrets make. “Ferrets almost never win anything in major international photo contests, and I’m glad to promote them as amazing pets and models,” she shares. “They are intelligent, cheerful, social little creatures with great personalities and overloading cuteness–when you have a ferret, you literally never stop smiling.”
Winning the category holds extra meaning for Zelentsova, who adds: “I’m also thrilled to become the first Ukrainian representing the U.S. in this wonderful photo contest. The world indeed needs more joyful and peaceful moments, and funny pet photographs are a great source of positive vibes, kindness, and love.”
See more of the winners, as well as photographs singled out as highly commended below. And then, if you're inspired, start photographing your pet in anticipation of the 2024 contest, which will open early next year.
Here are the winners of the fourth annual Comedy Pet Photography Awards.
“The first outdoor walk” by Darya Zelentsova (United States). Winner, All Other Creatures Category. Tiny happy ferret Boudicca (only 2,5 month old!) enjoys her first outdoor walk.
“Barking!” by Chris Porsz (United Kingdom). Winner, Dog Category & People's Choice Award. In March 2019 I was sat in the Union Square, New York dog run when I spotted a lady with a pink bag on her hand (to keep her hand clean) throwing a ball to her dog which was sat down facing her. The dog then launched itself and flipped in mid air to face me and snap! As you can see the lady with her hand on her head was as surprised as me and I think she is saying phew! I have searched in vain via the NY media to find the owner so that I can send her a copy. No joy so I am hoping this Pet Comedy competition can help me find the mystery woman and her leaping dog. You never know!
“Is it a seal or a dog?” by Monyque Macedo Dos Santos (Brazil). Winner, Junior Category. There's a hiding place under the sofa where Louis (the dog) likes to hide, that day I took his tennis ball from “his place”, he got angry and put his head out through the hole barking asking for his ball back, that's when he turned into this angry seal, and I decided to register the moment.
“The Big Boss” by Kenichi Morinaga (Japan). Highly Commended. Big Boss is the Boss around here. He is gentle and kindness just big.
“Keep your eye on the ball” by Gill Woodcock (United Kingdom). Highly Commended. Bumble puts his heart and soul into everything…it just doesn’t always work out.
“Zorro reborn” by Karl Goldhamer (Germany). Highly Commended. The avenger of the poor is back, but this time as a dog and not on a horse, but in a car! The obligatory black mask is a must, of course.
“The three Greys” by Klaus-Peter Selzer (Germany). Winner, Pets Who Look Like Their Owner's Category. Karin and her two dogs. Don't they all look almost the same?
“Victory” by Kazutoshi Ono (Japan). Highly Commended. Perfect landing pose, right?
“When digging a hole gets serious” by Sophie Boynton (United Kingdom). Highly Commended. Shadow was digging holes as normal at the beach, when all of a sudden he was showing off his new technique! Luckily the camera was at the ready for this crazy position!
“Football free kick” by Kenichi Morinaga (Japan). Highly Commended. Football and waiting for free kick.