“Ahhh” inducing photographs make up the Kennel Club’s annual Dog Photographer of the Year award. The 2019 version, which happens to be the 14th year of the competition, received over 7,000 entries from over 70 countries—everywhere from Brazil, to Canada, USA, China, Russia, Australia, and New Zealand. The photographs were divided into 10 categories, with winners chosen from each. The categories are Portrait, Man’s Best Friend, Dogs At Play, Dogs At Work, Puppy, Oldies, Assistance Dogs, Rescue Dogs, I Love Dogs Because… (exclusive to entrants 12 to 17 years old), and Young Pup Photographer (for those 11 years old and younger).
The Overall Winner and 1st Place Winner in the Oldies category was submitted by Swiss photographer Denise Czichocki. Her image, “Dreaming Merlin,” features her 14-year-old rescue dog, Podengo. Sitting in the shade of a magnolia tree with its pink flowers, Merlin could have been a challenging subject to photograph. “It wasn’t easy to take photos of him because of his absolute deafness,” explained Czichocki. “So I couldn’t work with noises to get his attention…afterwards, it wasn’t necessary. He gave me so many beautiful moments.” As a prize for the photograph, Czichocki will receive an original oil painting of the image from award-winning artist Sara Abbot.
There are plenty of images to check out in the competition. Perhaps one of the best aspects of the competition is how it showcases the many different roles dogs can play in our lives. From dedicated co-worker to comfort-giving counselor, dogs are there for their humans.
Another wonderful aspect of the competition is its inclusion of young people, and gives them awards for their efforts as well. Additionally, the contest celebrates two very important categories of dogs—assistance dogs and rescue dogs. The winners of these two categories, “Soul Comforter” by Angelika Elendt and Finntastic by Anne Green, both received £500 to donate to their favorite charities.
You can check out all of the top three prize winning photographs for each category in an exhibition being held at The Kennel Club in London from July 5th through October 3rd, 2019.