“The first obstacle of the course is the moment I prefer most of all. There, where it all begins, where the bond between Human and Dog is expressed in such a clear way by such a magnetic look, where you can see the power of dog’s muscles contracting and releasing energy at every handler’s nod.” (Photo: Francesco Junior Mura, 1st Place, Action)
For the second year, the Dog Photography Awards shines a spotlight on the best pet photography around the globe. This annual contest shows the artistry behind capturing the spirit of our furry friends in all their forms. From high-action shots to dogs at work to pensive portraits, the winning photographs are a tribute to these special animals.
Created by dog photographers Audrey Bellot and Claudio Piccoli, the contest invites professional and amateur photographers to enter their work into four categories—Action, Portrait & Landscape, Studio, and Dogs & People. After a strong showing, the pool of finalists was whittled down to the top three photographs in each category.
Francesco Junior Mura was awarded the top prize in the Action category for his striking photo of a collie on an agility course. With its body nearly flat, this collie rockets itself over the initial hurdle of the event and Mura was able to perfectly capture the strength and power of the moment.
Border collie Kyron is the star of the image that won the Portrait & Landscape category. The pooch was photographed while training as an avalanche rescue dog. In this exercise, Kyron was digging out photographer Dalia Fichmann, who was shadowing a rescue team in Switzerland. Right as the dog dug its way through the snow, she was able to snap this incredible portrait showing the intense concentration of the border collie at work.
In the Studio category, Su Kaye plays with our expectations of pet photography with an innovative take on a portrait. By capturing the underside of the French bulldog’s neck, we’re treated to the squishy wrinkles that are part of its unique character. Taking this artistic risk paid off with a win in the category.
Check out even more dog photography below; and, if you want to try your hand at capturing the spirit of your pet, check out the My Modern Met Academy online course on pet photography by renowned photographer Belinda Richards.
Check out the winners of the 2022 Dog Photography Awards.
“Away from the pistes, away from the hustle and bustle, enjoying the softness of the powder snow, the untouchedness. The dark side of it: every year people are buried by avalanches. The search in rough terrain is usually very difficult. The avalanche rescue dogs are often the first responders, fighting their way through the avalanche cones on their four paws with a lot of perseverance to look for the buried people, who are sometimes buried several meters under the snow masses. In Melchsee-Frutt (Switzerland) I have accompanied the rescue teams led by Nicole Dammann with the camera for a day. The dogs are trained using positive reinforcement to keep them enjoying the search. To capture the moment when the dog finds the buried person and digs through the snow, I lay down with the camera in a small, dark ice cave and let the dogs search for me. The moment when the snow cover opens up, the first ray of light penetrates the cave, the paws dig away the snow and the dog’s nose sniffs towards you is wonderful. A big compliment to all the dog handlers with their four-legged friends who invest a lot of time and patience. In an emergency, they risk their own lives. Thanks to all! The picture shows Border Collie Kyron, who was looking for me and fortunately found me.” (Photo: Dalia Fichmann, 1st Place, Portrait and Landscape)
“This was the first picture I edited after the workshop in Belgium with Claudio. I saw it already during the shooting on the beach and it made me so excited. The post-processing was not easy because I don’t like the blue colour so much. It was really difficult to edit the picture in those blue tones because I feel more comfortable with the warm colors. At the End I was satisfied with the result and thankful for that workshop.” (Photo: Sylvie Lettal, Finalist, Action)
“Just trying to do something different from the norm and create something unique in my studio and a new style. Not something I’ve seen other people doing and has created a great response and good reactions.” (Photo: Su Kaye, 1st Place, Studio)
“Unconditional Love” (Photo: Sabrina Theden, 1st Place, Dogs and People)
Photo: Fleur Scholte, Finalist, Portrait and Landscape
Pet photographers were asked to submit their work to one of four categories.
“I took this picture during our vacation in Norway. It was very foggy that day, so I wanted to create a friendly and sunny look.” (Photo: Julia Haßelkuß, 3rd Place, Action)
“This shot of Amber my Dalmatian is so special to me as this was one of the first walks we were able to do off lead since her two leg operations. It fills me with emotion seeing her so independent and captivated by the beauty of nature and wildlife.” (Photo: Sophia Hutchinson, 2nd Place, Portrait and Landscape)
“These photos are of Greenland Dogs (Greenlandic: Kalaallit Qimmiat, Danish: Grønlandshund) in Ilulissat, Greenland behaving naturally on the land provided to them by the government. There used be 30,000 Greenland Dogs and now there are only around 15,000. In Greenland they are exclusively used as working sled dogs. Climate change has reduced their use in favour of skidoos, which are better able to handle marginal ice conditions. Puppies up until about 6 months of age are allowed to roam untethered in order to socialize them and are friendly and playful. Adults are chained and kept separate. Housing and veterinary care is provided by the government.” (Photo: Joanne Liu, 3rd Place, Portrait and Landscape)
“An azawakh, on lookout. Always on look out and ready for action.” (Photo: Sanna Sander, Finalist, Portrait and Landscape)
“Took at sunrise in Slovenia. (Photo: Kjara Kocbek, 2nd Place, Action)
The photos highlight all aspects of our canine friends—from cute portraits at rest to dynamic action shots.
Photo: Cornelia Deigner, Finalist, Portrait and Landscape
Photo: Daniela Schmid, 3rd Place, Studio
Photo: Sarah Ebner, 2nd Place, Dogs & People
“Walking the dog along the beach. Photo taken by DJI Mavic Air2 drone of my partner walking our dog, Luna.” (Photo: Russell Charters, 3rd Place, Dogs and People)
Photo: Elke Braet, Finalist, Portrait and Landscape
“Mimi’s Backstory” (Photo: Jane Thomson, 2nd Place, Studio)
“Levy loves the nature. He enjoyed sitting between the coloured leafs and I took his nose up and smelt here and there… He looked happy and so I was happy to take this picture.” (Photo: Christin Scholz, Finalist, Portrait and Landscape)
Photo: Emma Pope, Finalist, Dogs and People
“Luis is our friend Karin’s Afghan, he’s relaxing on the couch.” (Photo: Tanja Zech, Finalist, Studio)
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