The RSPCA Young Photographer Awards are now open for entries

ByDavid M. Conte

May 8, 2022

All animal photos are welcome in the latest RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) photography competition, designed specifically for UK photographers under 19 to show off their skills while enjoying the process of capturing dynamic shots of both pets and wildlife.

the RSPCA Young Photographer Award has been operating for more than three decades. Now in its 32nd year, the competition is designed to inspire young photographers to get creative, encourage a growing interest in photography, as well as to enable young people to gain an appreciation and understanding of the amazing animals we have around from U.S.

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Judges for this year’s awards include wildlife photographer, TV presenter and RSPCA Vice President Chris Packham, former competition winner and now professional photographer Catriona Parfitt, professional wildlife photographer Ellie Rothnie and photographers from the RSPCA Andrew Forsyth and Emma Jacobs.

There are plenty of different categories to grab this year, including two new ones added recently: Pet Personalities and Pet Portraits. All you need is a camera, smartphone or tablet, and a passion for animals and nature.

Other categories are Under 12 (taken with camera), 12-15 (taken with camera), 16-18 (taken with camera), Under 12 (take with a mobile/device), 12 to 15 years old (taken on a mobile/device), 16–18 years old (taken on a mobile/device), Instagram, Small World and Portfolio.

Waving the seal – 12-15 recommended 2021 (Image credit: Dan Hancock-Smith/RSPCA YPA)

“‘Pet Personalities’ is a chance to capture an animal companion in action, revealing their natural behavior and character,” Forsyth shares. “From a dog playing ball or a cat playing hide and seek, to a rat enjoying a banana – show us how brilliant you think your pet is.

“Then there’s the new Pet Portraits category, which gives you the opportunity to show off your photography skills by capturing a more formal portrait of a pet. “But of course we want to see that your pet is always comfortable and happy to be photographed.”

Winner Stingray Steve 12-15 mobiles and devices 2021 (Image credit: Ollie Smith/RSPCA YPA)

Past winners of the RSPCA Young Photographer Awards have gone on to pursue careers in photography, animal welfare and conservation. The high-profile competition also attracts national media and press attention across the UK, with winning images making headlines in local newspapers.

“It’s an equal opportunity contest!” said Packham. “Kids don’t need fancy, expensive equipment to get in. We introduced our mobile phone and device categories in response to the world we live in – most of us now carry phones equipped with “cameras are getting better and better. I’ve probably taken my best pictures of my two poodles on my phone. Photography isn’t always about technical quality. It’s about communication.”

16 – 18 category Winner 2021 (Image credit: Ezra Boulton/RSPCA YPA)

Grand prizes for winners include a weekend of photography with award-winning wildlife photographer Danny Green’s team at Natures Images, worth £625 (approx $770 / AU$1,090), plus two nights accommodation for winner and parent/guardian.

The entry deadline is 16 August 2022 at 12:00 GMT, and winners are expected to be announced in December at an awards ceremony held at the Tower of London. Enter now by heading towards the awards website where you can find additional information.

12 – 15 Mobile Phones & Devices Finalist 2021 (Image credit: Enzo Olliff/RSPCA YPA)

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