Pet Photo Contest Results is a blog post from the Competitions category.

Pet Photo Contest Results

Posted by Will on

Enter our current photo contest: Wildlife Photography Competition

Selecting the winning photographs for our Pet Portraits photo contest has been an epic undertaking! We had around 4,500 entries and the overall standard was incredibly high. There were so many cute and characterful pets and so many talented photographers that judging this contest was a pleasure and a privilege. We had so many favourites that whittling down the numbers for this blog post was quite a challenge. We would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who entered.

Before proceeding, we would like to thank our terrific sponsors, Lensbaby and SmugMug, who generously donated some of the prizes. The winner and two runners-up will receive prizes as described on this page.


The moment we saw Carolyn’s photo of her dog in amongst teddy bears we instantly knew we had found our winner. It is a wonderfully original and imaginative interpretation of the theme “pet portraits”. Clearly a lot of thought went into planning this shot and the execution was spot-on. We like the way a slight hint of the dog’s mischievous character shines through in his expression… very cute! Congratulations Carolyn!

What Dog? by Carolyn

What Dog? by Carolyn Lee

“There’s a Bear in there and a Dasher as well. “

Equipment: Nikon D300

Carolyn Lee – Relatively new to photography, taking photos for 2 years now. Enjoy taking shots of my dog Dasher, who we rescued from the pound.

Runner-up (1 of 2)

Our runners-up are two very different images, and they are both fantastic.

Mihail Damyanov’s photo of a cat in the snow was quite unlike any of the other entries. The sense of environment is superb and the cat’s character really shines through… in fact we can’t help thinking that perhaps this cat believes he or she is a snow leopard! We love the purposeful expression on the cat’s face as it strides through the snow.

The Master of the Mountain by Mihail Damyanov

The Master of the Mountain by Mihail Damyanov

“This is a house cat, who lives with his owners in a small house in the mountains”

Equipment: Nikon

Mihail Damyanov – I am not professional photographer. I am interested in art photography.

Runner-up (2 of 2)

Marc Piscotty’s photo of a tattooed man and his dog is another great photograph. We love the juxtaposition between the fragile little dog and the tattooed arm. What makes this image so special is that the photographer has captured a moment of tenderness which beautifully illustrates the relationship between man and pet.

Purse Pooch by Marc Piscotty

Purse Pooch by Marc Piscotty

“Denver tattoo artist “Zeb One” with Zeus, his 10 month-old Teacup Chihuahua as he was out promoting his tattoo work on Colfax Avenue near the Bluebird Theater in Denver, Co. one afternoon.”

Equipment: Canon EOS 5D Mark II; 85mm, 1/125@f1.8; 200asa; Aperture Priority;

Marc Piscotty is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winning photographer based in Denver, Co. He was a staff photographer at the Rocky Mountain News from April 1999 until February 2007. He worked for the Albuquerque (N.M.) Tribune for five years after graduating in 1994 from Western Kentucky University with a degree in photojournalism.

Website: www.marcpiscotty.com

Highly Commended Entries

There were so many wonderful entries that we had to split up the photographs into categories in order to aid the judging process. We whittled the images down to our favourites in each category and we are presenting them below as our highly commended images. We hope you enjoy looking at these pictures as much as we enjoyed picking them!

Highly commended: Dogs

Stella Blue by Caitlin Jamison

Stella Blue by Caitlin Jamison

“There is nothing better than a cool wooden floor on a hot summer day.”

Equipment: Nikon D700, 50mm f/1.4

Caitlin Jamison – A Winston-Salem, NC based photographer with a serious passion for pet photography.

Website: www.caitlinjamison.com

Watch Dawg

Watch Dawg by Nick Bracken

“Rupert is such an observant dog. Always wanting to get his own view on things, sticking his nose wherever it’ll fit. This time he had his eye on something tasty!”

Equipment: Canon 30D, 100mm macro f2.8, ISO 250, no flash, natural light.

Nick Bracken – 22 year old Photographer representing the small town of Adelaide, Australia.

Website: www.nickbracken.com.au

Sweet Dreams by James Dobson

Sweet Dreams by James Dobson

“Sweet Dreams – after a long hard day eating and chasing pheasants”

Equipment: D3 24-70mm nikon

James Dobson – hobbyist for only 2 years but totally addicted – I live in the peak district (UK).

Website: www.globalwebstore.co.uk

A Dog, On A Gate by Jessica Dalene

A Dog, On A Gate by Jessica Dalene

“Frankenstein, a Yorkshire Terrier takes on a red gate.”

Equipment: Canon EOS 5D, & EF 50 mm f/1.4 USM

Jessica Dalene – Originally from NY, I moved to Santa Barbara to pursue my interest and education in photography at the Brooks Institute. With my graduation around the corner, I am buttoning up everything in order to embark on a new journey.

Website: www.jessicadalene.com

Fox Terrier by Jerry Xu

Fox Terrier by Jerry Xu

“I was playing with my dog, Santong, one afternoon in a park close to my home. He was so crazy with a led magic ball and ran to catch the ball. I took this photo when he was running towards me.”

Equipment: Nikon D200, Nikon 80-200 F2.8

Jerry Xu – I am an amateur wildlife photographer in China.

Website: www.jerry-xu.com

Earl by Phil Dixon

Earl by Phil Dixon

“Can I Go Now?”

Equipment: Canon 400d, Canon, Lens Canon EFS 60mm

Phil Dixon – I live in Bullsbrook, Western Australia and when I’m not managing The Maze Family Fun Park, I enjoy photographing nature and action sports.

Website: flickr.com/dxnpics

Sniped by a Sun-ray by Len Currie

Sniped by a Sun-ray by Len Currie

“Taken at home in my kitchen, my beagles love two things. Sleep and sunshine – Bella found both on this day.”

Equipment: Canon 40D with 27-70mm 2.8L

Len Currie – Hey there, I would like to call myself an advanced hobbyist photographer, with an enormous admiration for animals and the well-being of pets. Myself, I have two beagles and I do a lot of volunteer work for two Maritime Humane Societies here in Eastern Canada

Website: www.lencurrie.com

Luna and Her Wuffie by Stan

Luna and Her Wuffie by Stan

“Luna play with her Wuffie”

Stan – I’m a photographer

Website: munt.in

Highly commended: Cats

Guardian by Dmitrijs Belokons

Guardian by Dmitrijs Belokons

“This cat is a guardian at an old Mill in Eastern Ontario. You can tell he loves his job by his stare.”

Equipment: XSI

Dmitrijs Belokons – I Enjoy taking pictures and I love animals.

Back Window by Marcos RV

Back Window by Marcos RV

“A cat waiting for dinner”

Equipment: Pentax Optio M40

Website: marcosrv.tumblr.com

Orlando by Charlie Clift

Orlando by Charlie Clift

“My girlfriend’s family has beautiful cats, so I challenged myself to take some portraits of them. With a lot of help from my girlfriend, Olga, who got Orlando looking where I wanted him to I managed to capture him at the right moment to show his personality. “

Equipment: Canon 40D, plus two strobes fired through umbrellas

Charlie Clift – I am a final year student at the University of Bristol studying psychology. After graduating I hope to work as a photographer.

Website: www.charliecliftphotography.com

Play Time by Angella

Play Time by Angella

“Bird can’t get away when I play with it”

Equipment: 1 softbox and 1 standard reflector

Angella – I’m a college girl plus an amateur in photographer, but I have a passion for taking photographs, especially of cats and other kinds of pet.

Highly commended: Other pets

Yellow Bird by Sultan Alsultan

Yellow Bird by Sultan Alsultan

“Picture of a bird. Tired of taking pictures, I was satisfied with the results.”

Equipment: 1 soft box 400w and snot 400w : camera canon 50D: Focal Length: 50 mm

Sultan Alsultan – A photographer from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I am 23 years old.

Pain Going Home by Noel Taylor

Pain Going Home by Noel Taylor

“This is the late Pain. I think he was trying to get to Mordor…”

Equipment: Fuji Finepix S100FS

Noel Taylor – Brief…hmmm ok… I started taking photographs when I was about 10, with a free camera that I got from a well known cola company… after many years of me “borrowing” my dad’s Practica BMS (which I still have and use sometimes) I eventually went it alone!!

Website: www.noeltaylorphotography.co.uk

You talkin' to me? by Mangesh

You talkin’ to me? by Mangesh

Equipment: Nikon

Mangesh – The magic of photography has always intrigued and amazed me. I’ve been practicing photography as a serious hobby and found myself deeply engrossed in it. I am currently employed as a Usability Analyst at a leading financial services and solutions provider. I reside in Mumbai with my wife Supriya and my daughter Tisya.

Website: mangesha.aminus3.com

Highly commended: Black & white

Nap Time by Chinthaka Thenuwara

Nap Time by Chinthaka Thenuwara

“My Pet dog Sasha, at home in Sri Lanka, in the morning. Photograph of her beauty while asleep in the spot light (natural light from the window). The dramatic light feeling and peacefulness of sleep.”

Equipment: Canon EOS 40D, Canon EF 28 – 135 f3.5-5.6 USM IS lens

Chinthaka Thenuwara – 32 years old, Male, Sri Lankan. I do photography as a hobby but have started to make a side income out of it. 3 years in the field. Designer by profession.

Website: flickr.com/chinthakathenuwara

Ella by Brad Johnson

Ella by Brad Johnson

“My boxer at the arboretum with the sun to her back.”

Equipment: Nikon D50, SB600 (on remote cord)

Brad Johnson – I enjoy making photographs and music when I’m not busy with my day-job. Brad Johnson, VA

Best of Friends by Bridget Gates

Best of Friends by Bridget Gates

“Goldie and Gidget are the best of friends and perfect posers.”

Equipment: Nikon d40x, nikkor 50mm 1.4 lens

Bridget Gates – Seems like only yesterday I was running around taking pictures only to realize once the photo’s were developed all the heads were cut off. None the less they were conversation starters and just plain hilarious! I have come a long way since then and have developed a style that is dear to my heart. I love capturing moment’s that you never even knew existed. Every time someone looks at my photo’s after I have taken them they are like OMG I don’t remember that! That is so thrilling and I strive to continue to capture those moments. Photography just gives me a way to watch how people interact and show others what I see as I watch them. Photography is my passion, my love, my life!

Website: www.goldygatesphotography.com

Daydream by Rudolf Arpad Kozsak

Daydream by Rudolf Arpad Kozsak

“Miss you my darling!”

Equipment: Canon EOS 350D

Rudolf Arpad Kozsak – I was born in Budapest, Hungary, July 1980. I started photography in the year 2004, and it soon became my number one hobby. I learned photography in a self-educated way. I am mostly fascinated by urban themes and moments of every-day life. In 2008 I launched a blog in Hungarian about my photography. Some of my photos have been displayed in numerous national exhibitions.

Website: kozsakfoto.mlap.hu

Highly commended: Documentary

(Pictures depicting the daily lives of pets)

Begging Dog by Andrei Spirache

Begging Dog by Andrei Spirache

“The dog is waiting for food.”

Equipment: 5d + 16-35/2.8

Andrei Spirache – Former staff newspaper photographer turned freelancer.

Website: www.andreispirache.com

Dog Angle by Rebeca Saborio

Dog Angle by Rebeca Saborio

“Photo taken at the beach. Surprising moment captured.”

Equipment: Canon Rebel xt

Rebeca Saborio – I’m a 25 year old photographer from Costa Rica, in love with animal photography.

Website: www.rs.dphoto.com

What Teddy Bear? by Austin Foote

What Teddy Bear? by Austin Foote

“My puppy Annabelle giving her best “innocent” look after quickly disposing of her brand new teddy bear”

Equipment: D90, Nikon 18-70mm

Mother's Dairy by Siddharth Shankar Vivek

Mother’s Dairy by Siddharth Shankar Vivek

“Taste with Health”

Equipment: canon sx110 is

Siddharth Shankar Vivek – Hi, I am a student of architecture, with a great interest in photography as my passion..

Website: sahani.jimdo.com

Highly commended: People and their pets

The Next Move by Esme Campbell

The Next Move by Esme Campbell

“Mike and Sadie play some chess”

American Bulldog by Katya

American Bulldog by Katya

The Kiss by Rajesh Dhar

The Kiss by Rajesh Dhar

“This photograph was shot in a pet show. The man is kissing his pet cockatoo after being awarded in the competition.”

Equipment: Canon 400D, Sigma 18-200mm

Rajesh Dhar – I am an amateur photographer from Kolkata , the city of joy. I like traveling the interiors of the country and capture the spirit of my nation.

Can We Go Now? by Richard Hatch

Can We Go Now? by Richard Hatch

“Bailey my pet boxer dog and my daughter Niamh on the local beach for a walk”

Equipment: 5d2 and 85mm F1.2L

Richard Hatch – Photographer based in Ireland with an interest in all aspects of photography but specializing in Architectural Photography and Landscape.

Website: pbase.com/richiehatch

Highly commended: Studio

Yorkshire Terriers by Michal Grajkowski

Yorkshire Terriers by Michal Grajkowski

“Shooting the new-born Yorkshire Terrier babies in the studio”

Equipment: Canon EOS 5D, EF 24-70mm, 2 off-camera flashes. One through a white umbrella for the background, one into a striplight for lighting the subject

Michal Grajkowski – 24 years old. Born in Poland. Raised in Germany. Now studying communication systems in Berlin. Started with photography about 3 years ago.

Website: www.g-mikee.de

Roxy by Stewart Smith

Roxy by Stewart Smith

“What are you looking at?”

Equipment: 1D MkIII, Bowens strobes

Stewart Smith – A self confessed photoholic. Always looking for creative new ways to portray the message.

Website: www.ginkgostudios.com

Graceful Pose by Angella

Graceful Pose by Angella

“This is my sphinx cat named Elvis. He’s so gorgeous but really naughty. It was really hard to take that kind of pose for real.”

Equipment: 2 standard reflectors

Angella – I’m a college girl plus an amateur in photographer, but I have a passion for taking photographs, especially of cats and other kinds of pet.

Charlie by Alex Wright

Charlie by Alex Wright

“No, I’m not a Dalmatian.”

Equipment: Eos1ds 3 & 70-200mm 2.8

Alex Wright – I am a photographer based in Macclesfield, Cheshire. I’ve been taking photographs since I was 11 and still absolutely love having a camera in my hand. I have worked in a variety of areas, from police photography to advertising and currently take a lot of family and pet portraits.

Website: www.teneightstudios.co.uk

The Statue by Daniel Kudish

The Statue by Daniel Kudish

“Posing like a Greek statue”

Equipment: Nikon D700, 50mm 1.4 lens

Daniel Kudish – Daniel is a photographer in Montreal, Canada. Although he primarily photographs weddings, he has a passion for pets, especially dogs, which he photographs on a weekly basis.

Website: danielkudish.com

Who? Me? by Noel Taylor

Who? Me? by Noel Taylor

“This is one of my first attempts at pet photography! Bronwyn is looking less than impressed…”

Equipment: Fuji Finepix S100FS

Noel Taylor – Brief…hmmm ok… I started taking photographs when I was about 10, with a free camera that I got from a well known cola company… after many years of me “borrowing” my dad’s Practica BMS (which I still have and use sometimes) I eventually went it alone!!

Website: www.noeltaylorphotography.co.uk

Bonus: Pet Photography Tips!

As we were judging the entries, we started identifying features that we believe made particular photographs stand out from the crowd. Therefore, as a special bonus feature, please find below our top five tips for photographing pets:

1. Get down low! The majority of good photographs were taken with the camera at the same height or lower than the subject. It was much rarer to find good images that were taken looking down on the creature.

2. Focus on the eye! The most important part of the photograph to have sharp is the eye… almost any other part of the animal can be out of focus or motion-blurred as long as the eye is sharp.

3. Pay attention to the background! Many beautiful portraits were ruined by distractions in the background of the photo. When taking photographs, take a second to recompose or move objects so that the background is free from clutter. Using a shallower depth of field can also help reduce background distractions.

4. Try not to chop-off body parts! Often we found that beautiful photographs didn’t quite beat the (fierce) competition because a paw or the tip of a tail was missing. Don’t be afraid to leave a bit of extra room around your subject (especially if it is moving) as you can always crop in a bit later.

5. Try and capture the pet’s personality. Often it was this sense of the animal’s character that made a particular photo really stand out. This is not something that is easy to achieve or easy to define, however, if you persevere, experiment and take lots of photographs, you are bound to be rewarded with photos that capture your pet’s special spark!

We look forward to seeing more of your wonderful pets in next year’s pet photo contest! To make sure you don’t miss out, subscribe to our free email newsletter (or via rss) so that we can notify you when future photo contests open for entries. The theme of our current contest is Landscapes, you can find out more here.


  1. heidiannemorris said: June 8, 2010 at 8:11 am

    Congratulations to all who entered, wonderful photography. Great presentation of the results too! :O) All my best Heidi x

  2. Alaric said: June 8, 2010 at 8:47 am

    What a great collection of pet portraits! Congratulations to all who won and entered!

  3. E;izabeth Cannon said: June 8, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Great photos, everyone’s a winner!
    Enjoy the site. Thanks.

  4. Liz Ross said: June 8, 2010 at 9:29 am

    A worthy winner and some great pics to x

  5. Carolyn Lee said: June 8, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Thank you so much for the wonderful win, I am truly amazed at all the fantastic shots that are on display here. Dasher is enjoying the limelight 😉 Carolyn

  6. Anne-marie Bradshaw said: June 8, 2010 at 11:20 am

    All fantastic photo’s don’t know how you made your final choice!! Well done to all 🙂

  7. Lea Foster said: June 8, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    All of these were a joy to look at–Congratulations to all!!

  8. G said: June 9, 2010 at 12:04 am

    Some Classic’s.

  9. Goran Cakmazovic said: June 9, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    All photos are very good but some of these photos are realy fantastic

  10. Miri said: June 9, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    All photos deserve to be here. Well done all. It is really joy to look at them.

  11. Alexander Evensen said: June 11, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    Awesome results! Great photographs 🙂

  12. Angela said: June 12, 2010 at 1:59 am

    Wow.. these photographs are all amazing! I am new to photography and all of these photos are giving me something more to aspire too… Great job.. maybe one day I will make it on the winner’s list 🙂 Congrats!

  13. Nick said: June 13, 2010 at 1:00 am

    I love that cat in the snow!! It looks like my big ol’ chunky kitty Dutch! These are great photos!

  14. Charlie Clift said: June 14, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    Wow! Thanks for picking my photo as a runner up!

    Congratulations to the winners, there are some really awesome pictures here!

  15. Warren Williams said: June 20, 2010 at 2:25 am

    Stunning results! Well done everyone

  16. Rahul said: June 21, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Lovely set of pictures

  17. Anggraeni Wulandari said: July 10, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Woot! The contestants took amazing photos!!

  18. siddharth said: July 13, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    Thank you.. for selecting my photograph “Mother’s Dairy: Taste with Health” in Highly commended photograph : Documentry category..

  19. Mona Wagner said: September 14, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    If only I’d been introduced to your website a couple months sooner. I have a PERFECT pet shot!!

  20. Gamini Hettiarachchi said: November 16, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Beauty of Beauty.

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