Every year National Geographic sweeps us off our feet with stunning nature shots, showcasing the beauty and the sublime of the animal kingdom. The Kennel Club Dog Photographer of the Year embraced the same concept, but chose a subject that's closer to home – dogs.
Dog Photographer of the Year 2018 winners were announced on July 16th. The contest included 10 categories, e.g. "Assistance Dogs and Dog Charities", "Dogs at Play", "Dog Portrait", etc. While most categories had to do with the content of the photograph, there was also a category called "Young Pup Photographer", for photographers that are 11 years and younger. The photographs celebrate the canines in many of their aspects, from their goofiness to their sense of duty. Scroll down below to check out the winners and don't forget to comment and vote for your favorites!
More info: dogphotographeroftheyear.org.uk
Dog Photographer Of The Year 2018 Overall Winner And Oldies Category 1st Place Winner, Monica Van Der Maden, Netherlands
Title of image: ‘The lady of the mystery forest’
Dog: Noa, Great Dane
'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 colours. But their heart are all the same filled with love'
– Monica van der Maden
Dogs At Play Category 1st Place Winner Elinor Roizman, Israel
Title of image: ‘I'll catch you’
Dog: Lili, Pomeranian
'This particular photo was taken in the beach just before sunset. I shot 4 dogs on that day, Lili, and her 3 bigger brothers. Suddenly, Lili, the smallest bitch, began to jump with pleasure at the soap bubbles and play as if she were a puppy. It was a precious moment full of happiness and true freedom.'
- Elinor Roizman
Puppies Category 3rd Place Winner Robyn Pope, United States Of America
Title of Image: ‘Let's call it Roly Poly Puppy’
Dog: Snickers, cross breed puppy photographed for Doodle Rock Rescue
'In this image, I knew the moment Snickers began rolling around on the blanket that I had to embody his zest for life in a photo that would help him find the perfect playful home. I truly love working with dogs of all backgrounds to capture extraordinary photos worthy of even the most sophisticated pet parents and discerning commercial clientele. At home, we have six gentle giants of our own who serve as ambassadors on our 7-acre pet photography property and the ultimate creative muses.' - Robyn Pope
Man’s Best Friend 3rd Place Winner Cheryl Murphy, United Kingdom
Title of image: ‘Home’
Dog: Ruby Roo, Golden Retriever
'This picture of Ruby was taken whilst she was resting with my friend Chris after playing with her daughter Nellie. My greatest passion is capturing dogs playing and having fun in their natural environment, the camera is a great way of recording what the naked eye would miss.' - Cheryl Murphy
Puppies Category 1st Place Winner Klaus Dyba, Germany
Title of image: ‘Little Ceylin’
Dog: Ceylin, Italian Greyhound
'Ceylin was the second dog of my friend Birguel. The photo means much too me since her first dog, also an Italian greyhound died at puppy age in a car accident. 13 weeks old Cylin has the whole life in front of her. You can see it in her expression.' - Klaus Dyba
Dogs At Play Category 2nd Place Winner Steffi Cousins, United Kingdom
Title of image: ‘Flying Free’
Dog: Heidi, merle Chihuahua
'This particular photo was taken in September at West wittering beach where we were on a large dog meet up and my two dogs were having a blast. I had my back to Heidi as I was photographing dogs playing in the water, I turned to check on my two and just managed to grab this shot in time. I'm so glad I did, it's my favourite photo of Heidi and it shows off her crazy energy perfectly!' - Steffi Cousins
Oldies Category 2nd Place Winner Rachele Z. Cecchini, Austria
Title of image: ‘On a Rainy Day’
Dog: Nilo, cross breed and rescue dog
'I took this photo on a rainy winter day. My best friend Nilo was a much traumatized rescue dog, but he felt very comfortable in the car. I love to observe him and I always feel very touched about his melancholic expression.' - Rachele Z. Cecchini
Portrait 3rd Place Winner Michael M Sweeney, United Kingdom
Title of image: ‘A Winters Storm’
Dog: Hugo, Pomeranian
'I photographed my dog at the window here in my tenement flat in Glasgow using available natural light during a winter’s storm of hailstones, wind and rain.' - Michael Sweeney
I Love Dogs Because… (Ages 12 To 17) 1st Place Winner Tamara Kedves, Hungary
Title of image: ‘One heart, one family’
Dogs: Dash, Royal, Harley, Ženka, Ryan, Ready, all border collies
'I am Tamara Kedves, a 16 years old student living in Hungary. I started photography three years ago when I realized how much joy I find in taking photos of nature and animals. Since then I have photographed uncountable priceless moments, but my own dogs have stayed my biggest inspiration all along. For me, the purpose of photography is capturing a memory and make it last forever, as well as expressing my love for dogs through my pictures. My biggest goal is to make outdoor dog photography more popular with the creative use of lights and colours, while motivating other aspiring photographers.
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!' - Tamara Kedves
Assistance Dogs Charity Category 1st Place Winner Dean Mortimer, United Kingdom
Title of image: ‘Reassurance’
Dog: Rocko, German Shepherd Dog
'My thought process behind this picture is one that is close to my heart. My brother is ex-military as are some of my friends. I have seen first-hand some of the issues that war can have on even the strongest of men. The ex-soldier in the photo suffered great loss in Afghanistan and suffers from PTSD so that’s when Rocko came to his rescue. Rocko the German Shepherd has been trained by his handler to help combat the effects of PTSD, the skills of which help calm and reassure the soldier when times get hard. In my photograph I tried to capture not just how this dog aids this PTSD sufferer but also to capture the kind nature of the dog and how he enriches this man’s life. I have been following and admiring the work carried out by Service Dogs UK, the charity I am nominating for this category prize donation from the Kennel Club Charitable Trust. I am amazed by how affective dogs can be in assisting an individual with their recovery. So I decided to base my entry for this category on this issue and hope that in doing so will raise awareness of this worthy charity.' - Dean Mortimer
Young Pup Photographer (Aged 11 Years And Under) 2nd Place Winner Sienna Wemyss, United Kingdom Age 10
Title of image: ‘Dinner?’
Dog: Dallas, Whippet
'My name is Sienna Wemyss, I’m 10 years old and I’m from England, UK. When I grow up, I want to be a fashion photographer and designer. I have loved dogs since I first encountered one! There are so many different kinds of dogs and they are all so unique. My dream came true in January this year when I became the proud owner of Dallas, a pedigree Whippet puppy. I was overjoyed!
I was relaxing on the sofa one day when Dallas crawled beside me. I put my arms out, expecting him to come and cuddle me. Instead, he gazed at the kitchen dreamily! If he could speak then, I bet he would have said, ‘Dinner?’ He looked very curious, so I grabbed my mum’s phone and captured the moment.' - Sienna Wemyss
Portrait 2nd Place Winner Katarzyna Siminiak, Poland
Title of image: ‘Waiting Beauty’
Dog: Thalia, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
'This photo was taken during session around Old Market Square in Poznań. I’m still amazed how Thalia was calm and focus despite the city noise.' - Katarzyna Siminiak
Portrait 1st Place Winner Carol Durrant, United Kingdom
Title of image: ‘Glenturret Autumn Gold’
Dog: Crew, Darcie, Pagan (Glenturret) Flat Coated Retrievers
'The photograph was taken on the last day of October 2016 in the UK as we had the best autumn for years for it colours for many years but this day there was a mist in the background to make the photo magical. The photo was taken at Ash Rangers where the dogs walk daily – Crew, Darcie and Pagan. This photo is memorable due to Crew’s short life cut short at 3 with IBD disease.' - Carol Durrant
Man’s Best Friend 1st Place Winner Joana Matos, Portugal
Title of image: ‘Dolce far niente on a lovely afternoon’
Dog: Godji, Portuguese Podengo crossbreed
'I love this photo for many reasons: it was taken at my favourite beach, with my favourite man, with my favourite dog... and in the background there is an umbrella that belonged to my eternal love Nupi, an adventurous cocker spaniel who shared his life with me for almost 19 years. Godji, the beautiful dog in the picture is a natural poser and sometimes people call her "supermodel of the world" and now she has become one!' - Joana Matos
Judges’ Special Mention Dogs At Play Category Alice Loder, United Kingdom
Title of image: ‘Black Velvet’
Dog: Widgets Bonnie Lass aka Bonnie, English Working Cocker Spaniel
'This image was taken whilst out on a walk with my Working Cocker Spaniel, Bonnie. I very rarely take my camera with my on dog walks, as this is my opportunity to clear my head and have some ‘me time’. But the purple heather was just too beautiful to leave it behind. After all, who doesn’t love black and purple? - Alice Loder
Oldies Category 3rd Place Winner Philip Wright, United Kingdom
Title of image: ‘Resting’
Dog: Bentley, German Shorthaired Pointer
'This particular photo was taken during an afternoon walk through a local woodland. The ferns were looking wonderful and provided a perfect natural avenue to draw the viewers' eye in to my subject. I asked Bentley to lay down and he did so with the most beautiful, almost grave expression. They say that eyes are the windows to the soul, and looking at Bentley here I'd be inclined to agree.'
- Philip Wright
Dogs At Play Category 3rd Place Winner Sarah Beeson, United States Of America
Title of image: ‘Snowy Shenanigans’
Dogs: Daffy, Taz, and Wile E. (left to right); Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers
'We had just moved from one of the snowiest cities (Erie, PA) to the middle of nowhere USA (yes, I love you dear Indiana). I didn’t expect much snow, but come on! It was nearly mid-February and not a flake! My boys were used to lots of snow having lived in Erie but Daffy hadn’t a clue. And then, it happened: Old man winter arrived. Shame on him, while I was at work, no less! By the time 5 pm rolled around, I was in our backyard - Frisbee soaring and camera in hand. Meet Daffy, Taz, and Wile E. We LOVE frisbee!' - Sarah Beeson
Dogs At Work 1st Place Winner Tracy Kidd, United Kingdom
mage title: ‘Wayne’s Team’
(Back row) Skye age 13. Lemon Working Cocker. Wayne’s soul mate. Loving, stubborn and wild when she was younger. (Front row) Jenny age 9. Liver Working Cocker. Daughter of Skye. Tough as old boots yet loves to be cuddled. The boss! Pippin - age 1. Yellow Retriever. Extremely intelligent and is always a thousand miles an hour. Milly - age 4. Black Retriever. Pippin’s Mother. Grease Lightening and on fire, especially on Grouse. Bramble - age 6. Lemon / White Working Cocker. Hates to be told off. Always wants to please. Obsessed about checking scent. Loves a cuddle and very affectionate.
Ember - age 3. Yellow Retriever. So laid back. Very independent and works on her own. Always picks up. Extremely eager. Bonnie - age 4. Yellow/White Working Cocker. Very loving however a little arrogant! Always has her nose to the ground but slow to retrieve. Always loves a cuddle.
'I was in photographer's heaven whilst out on the shoot with Wayne’s Team of working dogs. It was a privilege to watch them, tails held high, nose to the ground and retrieving. All of them totally in tune with Wayne Green, hanging on every command and thoroughly enjoying their job. Its days like this and the reality of life that I am looking to capture in my images. To document life, as it is, with passion. I always promised myself at the age of forty I was going to follow my dream to and become the best photographer I could be. Now at forty eight, through passion, hard work and determination, I have a photography business I am very proud of.' - Tracy Kidd
Rescue Dogs Charity Category 3rd Place Winner Christina Roemmelt, Austria
Title of image: ‘Over the sea of fog’
Pet name: Dania, Cross breed Portuguese Podengo, rescue dog
'My name is Christina and I was born in Munich. I moved to a small village next to Innsbruck in Austria together with my husband 11 years ago. After having settled down, we adopted two rescue dogs from Spain, thrown away like garbage, found in a dustbin. It wasn't possible to literally touch Dania for the first six month. Now we spend all the time together. The dogs accompany us to work and in our leisure time we explore the nature together.
My wish was to fix the special mood of these moments, staying outside, enjoying nature together and acting as a team. For this reason, inspired by my husband, who is a landscape photographer, I got in touch with photography three years ago.
On the picture you can see one of these very special moments. We hiked on Keipen on Senja [Norway] last year and stood speechless on top when the nature was bathed in golden light by the midnight sun. Everything was calm and peaceful. The dogs and us were completely on our own. This is one of my absolutely all-time favourite pictures from our trips.' - Christina Roemmelt
Judges’ Special Mention Dogs At Play Category Leslie Plesser, United States Of America
Title of Image: ‘Water Work’
Dog: Thoven, Golden Retriever
'I am a photographer from Minneapolis, MN. I photograph products and people to fill my wallet, but I photograph dogs to fill my soul. I've always been a dog lover, but my true love of pet photography began when I adopted two rescue dogs as puppies and I photographed them playing and growing up together. I love how dogs never pose, and you can always read their expressions -- they aren't hiding anything.
This photo was taken the first time I ever attempted photographing anything under water. A friend opened up her pool to me, and we had the dog play fetch while I snapped photos beneath the surface. It was so challenging to get the focus quickly when the dog jumped in, but it was so much fun to try!'- Leslie Plesser
Assistance Dogs Charity Category 3rd Place Winner Craig Turner-Bullock, New Zealand
Title of image: ‘A Veterans Best Friend’
Dog: Delta, White Swiss Shepherd
'I am an ambassador for the Kotuku Foundation for Assistance Animals Aotearoa, who source, train and place dogs with people who have any diagnosed condition that dogs are known to be capable of assisting with. This includes diabetes, head injuries, depression and PTSI and many more. Dion is a veteran who fought, and was injured, at the battle of Baghak in 2012. He experienced PTSI and says that ever since Delta came into his life she has made a huge difference. Dogs assisting veterans are now common around the world, but Delta is the first of her kind here in New Zealand.'
- Craig Turner-Bullock
I Love Dogs Because… (Ages 12 To 17) 3rd Place Winner Kirsten Van Ravenhorst, Netherlands
Title of image: ‘Hide and Seek’
Dog: Big City Borders Lad, Border Collie
'I am an 18 year old girl from the Netherlands who loves agility, traveling and photography. The dog in the photo is Fenrir, my youngest dog. He is the perfect model, and the reason why I picked up the camera again.
The camera that I normally use is the Nikon D500, but it needed to be repaired so I used my dad’s D5200 for this photo. This photo was taken in the forest near my house. I went there with my Border Collie Lad Fenrir to test my dad’s new camera.' - Kirsten van Ravenhorst
Dogs At Work 3rd Place Winner Ian Squire, United Kingdom
Title of image: ‘I've got your back’
Dog: Nyx, German Shepherd Dog (bitch)
'For me, the title sums up the image perfectly from both sides. This is a young trainee Police Dog undergoing some initial training. Taken on a miserable, damp day, it shows elements of the bond, trust and relationship that is vital for the partnership between Police Dog and handler.' - Ian Squire
Judges’ Special Mention Portrait Category Viktoria Baranova, Estonia
Title of image: ‘Small lady in the cloud of ginger hair’
Dog: SMILAIN AMI DEZ ROUZEZ, Yorkshire Terrier
'My favorite dog named Amy is on the photo. Amy is the real terrier and has the character of a true lady - knows her value and has an ability to put her best foot forward with the highest dignity.' - Viktoria Baranova
Dogs At Work 2nd Place Winner Richard Lane, United Kingdom
Title of image: ‘Springer in the Mist’
Dog: Tarly, English Springer Spaniel
'These are the sort of conditions I dream about for photography! This morning it all came together perfectly great subject and fantastic dramatic natural light to work with.' - Richard Lane
Judges’ Special Mention Young Pup Photographer Category Euan Shannon, United Kingdom
Title of image: ‘Reflective Day’
Dog: Maisie, Lab collie cross
Euan is 8 years old and lives in the countryside in Aberdeenshire with his parents and 2 sisters. He loves all animals and as well as Maisie, has a cat, leopard geckos, fish and rats.
His favourite thing is going for a family cycle with Maisie along the disused railway lines and stopping to find geocaches on the way. He loves walking Maisie and throwing the ball for her. He thinks she is the best dog ever!
The photo was taken after a big rainstorm in the playpark while Euan was waiting for his little sister to finish her football training. Euan and Maisie like splashing in puddles together.
(Words by Euan written by Euan's mum)
Puppies Category 2nd Place Winner Charlie Nunn, United States Of America
Title of image: ‘Sticking Together’
Dogs: Beagle mix puppies
'Since early last year, my partner Raymond Janis and I have had the honour of supporting the Vanderpump Dogs Foundation in Los Angeles by photographing their adoptable dogs. In July 2017, we met these adorable beagle mix puppies. As Raymond tried to wrangle them, something magical happened and I was able to capture a perfect moment of a puppy family sticking together.'
- Charlie Nunn
Rescue Dogs Charity Category 1st Place Winner Sonya Kolb, United States Of America
Title of Image: ‘Found My Way Home’
Dog: Cooper, Labrador Retriever Mix and rescue dog
'It was very clear that Cooper was the first child for this beautiful and loving couple. In this shot, they are holding hands behind Cooper’s drowsing head. It was a scene of pure contentment and love.'
- Sonya Kolb
Young Pup Photographer (Aged 11 Years And Under) 3rd Place Winner Maisie Mitford, United Kingdom Age 11
Title of Image: ‘Monty’
Dog: Monty, German Shorthaired Pointer
'I live in the North East of England with my Mum, Dad, Sister Millie and two dogs; Monty & Chester. I have always loved animals and I am constantly entertaining my dogs. I have my own lightweight camera which I carry with me most places and always photographing the dogs.
Mum had given me her camera (which is really heavy) and set me a challenge to photograph either Monty or Chester for this competition, Chester wasn’t interested but Monty was willing and keen to please - lots of treats were involved!' - Maisie Mitford
Young Pup Photographer (Aged 11 Years And Under) 1st Place Winner Mariah Mobley, United States Of America Age 11
Title of image: ‘My Best Friend Roxy’
Dog: Roxy, German Shepherd Dog
'My Name is Mariah Mobley and I am 11 years old. I have lived in Oregon, USA my whole life. I used to live on a farm with horses and dogs, but now live in town with my family, and our three dogs, Hunter, Roxy and Koby. I have always loved animals, especially dogs. I started taking pictures when I was a very little girl, and have loved it ever since.
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 modelling light and the porch light to put light on her pretty face.
We adopted Roxy from a rescue when she was 7 months old. She had been in a shelter since she was 4 months old. She is 5 years old now and is the sweetest girl. As you can see in the photo, Roxy has an eye disease that causes redness and cloudiness. It is called Pannus. Her eyes are not as clear as they used to be, but I think she is beautiful just as she is.' - Mariah Mobley
Rescue Dogs Charity Category 2nd Place Winner Leslie Plesser, United States Of America
Title of Image: ‘Happy Girl Rescued’
Dog: Rescue dog cross breed (Hungarian Vizsla and Labrador Retriever) named Magda
'This particular image is of my own rescue dog, Magda. She was a bit hesitant and shy when my husband and I came home with our baby, but when the baby went off to nursery school, she would curl up on his rocking chair and roll her fur all over, settling in for a nice nap.' - Leslie Plesser
Judges’ Special Mention Puppies Category Alicja Zmyslowska, Poland
Title of image: ‘Focused’
Dog: Tissaia, Border Collie
'My name is Alicja Zmysłowska, I am 22 years old dog photographer from Poland. My big passion for dogs is with me since always and I always try to show it in my art, showing each dog’s soul, their personality - their uniqueness.
This photograph of Tissaia, a working line border collie of my friend, at age of two months is showing how strongly focused, intense and even serious she is even though she is such a young puppy. Such a small body and so much power and dynamic in it is what I wanted to photograph since first moment of seeing her and seeing it in her - and what really made a big impression on me. She wasn’t a typical puppy that doesn’t know its body yet. I tried to emphasize this feeling with vibrant colours of spring in the background and foreground.' - Alicja Zmyslowska
Judges’ Special Mention Rescue Dogs Charity Category Jarmila Eckardt, Germany
Title of image: ‘Deeper Love’
Dog: Raffi, Spanish Pointer
'My name is Jarmila Eckardt, from Erfurt (Germany), I live there with my Dog Raffi. I am totally, 100% inlove with dogs. I adopted Raffi in 2011, a Pointer-mix from Spain who was a broken soul from a dog shelter. He is so unique that I started feeling this compulsion to capture every little thing he did: the way he turned step by step to trust people, when he learn more and more to trust me. I love it when he tucks his paws under his chest or rests his head on the pillow…the list went on and on.
This photo was taken on a Sunday morning during a cold winter morning. Raffi and I were too lazy to go outside, so we spend quality time in the bed the whole day. Raffi often enjoy the heat of a warm bed. He come from a shelter in Etxauri, Spain. He lived there more than a half year on a cold concrete in the winter season. That's why he like warmness all the time and we love to spend time together.'
- Jarmila Eckardt
Judges’ Special Mention Portrait Category Jonathan Yearsley, United Kingdom
Title of image: ‘Tatti's Head Tilt’
Dog: Tatti, English Cocker Spaniel
'Tatti was almost 9 months old when this image was taken, but such a lovely character. She was starting her training to become an agility dog and so well behaved she made my job super easy. Making silly noises triggered a great head tilt from her, every time, which combined with the typical 'Spaniel lip stuck between the teeth look' just makes this image for me.' - Jonathan Yearsley
Judges’ Special Mention Man’s Best Friend Category Bendik Almås, Norway
Title of image: ‘Instant friendship’
Dog: Unknown name, Alaskan or Siberian Husky
'A spur of the moment photograph taken during Finnmarksløpet, the longest dog sledding race in Europe, as a race veterinarian does a check-up on the dogs at the finishing line.' - Bendik Almås
Judges’ Special Mention Dogs At Play Category Darren Hall, United Kingdom
Title of Image: ‘Sand Monster!’
Dog: Ted, Miniature Poodle
'This is my best friend, Ted the poodle. Ted is an absolute lunatic and is constantly creating moments of chaos and mayhem. This photograph was taken on Whitley Bay beach with the excellent help of Caroline Greener and her favourite ball chucker. Ted’s photos usually show him mid-flight or sprinting at full speed but in this image you get to see the exact moment Ted decided to stop!
I love the wave of sand he creates as he slams the breaks on but most of all I love his expression and focus on his one true love - the ball. I love you Ted.' - Darren Hall
Assistance Dogs Charity Category 2nd Place Winner Maria Cristina Nadalin, Brazil
Title of image: ‘The Magic of Reading’
Dog: Messi, Golden Retriever
'This particular photo was taken during the very first time Messi was into a public library to help children acquire interest on reading. The lady in the picture is a writer and reader, and she, along with Instituto Cão Companheiro (Companion Dog Institute), developed this project that is the first one in Brazil.' - Maria Cristina Nadalin
I Love Dogs Because… (Ages 12 To 17) 2nd Place Winner Elise Finney, United Kingdom
Title of image: ‘Simply a ball’
Dog: Darcy, Crossbreed (Cocker and Poodle)
'I live in Kingston upon Hull with my parents and two dogs and I am currently working through education to become an animal nutritionist as well as competing in the dog sport agility with my dog Darcy. I received my first DSLR, in the December of 2016 and photography has quickly become a new passion of mine and a great way to bond and capture special moments with my canines.
This photo was taken during a walk on a lovely summer’s day after a game of fetch. Darcy often rests her head on her ball after she has finished playing and this was the first moment I had managed to capture her doing this on camera.' - Elise Finney
Man’s Best Friend 2nd Place Winner Sherilyn Vineyard, United States Of America
Title of image: ‘Divine Connection’
Dog: Kodi, 10 years old, Yellow Lab/Golden Retriever mix
'Meet Kodi, working therapy dog with Divine Canines. This is him with his person, Susan, during their training and certification class in late April, three years ago. He was a little nervous around the other dogs, but all it took was the reassuring touch of the person he loves and he soared through the training to graduate and serve his community.' - Sherilyn Vineyard
Judges’ Special Mention Man’s Best Friend Category Inés Tafalla, Spain
Title of image: ‘My Best Friends’
Dogs: Lola & Fred, Scottish Terrier, mother and son
'This particular shot was taken at the dog training school where I was working on a project of dogs and their owners. I was interested in capturing the emotional bond and resemblance' - Inés Tafalla