North East photographer, Jason Allison has once again been crowned ‘Pet Photographer of the Year’ following his pet category win last year at the annual Guild of (Professional) Photographers awards evening.
Jason 48, from Crook in County Durham won the title by entering selected images throughout the year, which are then scored by independent judges. The scores are totalled at the end of the year to determine who becomes the Guild’s Photographer of the Year.
He achieved this after accumulating a year’s worth of consistent high scoring portraits of his clients’ pets, including numerous gold, silver and bronze awarded images. He was also awarded ‘Pet Image of the Year’ for his portrait of ‘Seven Staffies’ – one of two images selected by judges for the final. In addition, he also achieved runner-up for the overall Judge’s Choice Image of the Year for a stunning classic black and white male portrait and the photographers bar in the pet category.
It’s a lifelong hobby for Jason and since opening his studio in 2017, his passion for photography and pets has catapulted him onto the International stage. The majority of his work is dog photography, which he shoots from his studio in Willington, County Durham but he also photographs cats, horses and other pets.
The Guild is a highly respected UK-based association for photographers, which also includes members from overseas. Each year, it runs an on-line monthly photographic competition, judged by internationally respected judges with awards given to the best entries. During 2019, the competition attracted around 15,000 entries from the most talented of photographers.
In December, judges from the Guild selected ten images in each of the 15 genre categories and qualifying images needed to achieve a Silver award status or above in their popular image of the month category.
Jason was presented with his awards at the final, which was held at Crewe Hall in Cheshire. Commenting on his success, he said: “To be crowned Pet Photographer of the Year following my overall category win in consecutive years is a huge achievement and I am really humbled to be presented this by the highly respected Guild.
“Photography and pets are my life and to be recognised by internationally renowned judges is a dream come true. I still need to pinch myself.
“It is very difficult to win a Guild award as the standards and expectations are getting higher every year. You can’t rest on your laurels in this competition, it’s tough. After winning the award last year, my business really took off and while it could have been quite easy to become complacent, I am always determined to capture the true character of the animal and make sure they enjoy their experience with me and it shows in their portraits.
“Pet photography is becoming more and more popular and being crowned overall national winner is something that I am very proud of.”
The winning image of the year features seven Staffies sat in a row in Jason’s unique fine art style.
Bethany the owner of the Staffies said: “I always wanted a unique portrait of my dogs done by Jason and last year, my wish came true and wow what an amazing photographer. Such amazing work and this is fabulous news on the win – well done.”
Jason’s photo of “Jason the bearded man” also won Image of the Year in the Classical Portraiture category.
Guild Director Lesley Thirsk, said: “I am both proud and delighted that Jason has achieved this recognition. The Guild has very demanding standards when judging photographic competitions. The judging is undertaken by a panel of internationally recognised experts from a variety of photographic backgrounds, so Jason quite rightly should be delighted with their extraordinary achievement.”