Each year The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show awards ‘Best in Show’ to one lucky dog – but what about the humans? Well, dog enthusiasts can rejoice, now in its 14th year, the Kennel Club’s Dog Photographer of the Year recognizes the most talented photographers who are able to capture the best canine photo on their camera.
The international competition received almost 7,000 entries from over 70 different countries around the globe, including Brazil, Canada, USA, China, Russia, Australia and New Zealand. They were sorted into ten different categories and a special mention category: Portrait, Man’s Best Friend, Dogs At Play, Dogs At Work, Puppy, Oldies, I Love Dogs Because – for entrants aged between 12 and 17 years old – Young Pup Photographer – for entrants aged 11 and under – and Assistance Dogs and Rescue Dogs.
This year, Denise Czichocki, from Switzerland, won the overall competition with a picture of her 14-year-old Podengo rescue dog, Merlin. Said Czichocki: “I am really proud and overwhelmed, I still can’t believe it! There are so many good photographers out there and I won this title, it is absolutely amazing. ‘I have always loved to take pictures of everything, and my passion for dog photography started when I had my own, I wanted to create lovely memories of all of them. Over the years I have developed my photography to become more emotional.”
Other winners included ‘The Little Twins,’ by Monica van der Maden from the Netherlands, who received first place in the ‘Puppies’ category with a snap of her Weimaraner pups Macy and Vino.
The Winner of Dog Photographer of the Year 2019 receives a dedicated capsule exhibition of their dog photographs in the Kennel Club Art Gallery, London, also displayed in the Kennel Club Art Gallery as part of the 2019 Winners Exhibition. Additionally, they will receive a custom print from Loxley Colour, trophy, rosette and certificate.
Scroll down to check out all of the beautiful shots of these pups and don’t forget to upvote your favs!
1 Dogs At Work 1st Place Winner, ‘The Loyal Co-Workers’ By Dorine Scherpel, Canada
Dogs: Sam (L) and Laddie (R) (collie dogs, age 5 and 8) I was walking on this narrow country lane in The Lake District one February day this year when Laddie (right on the photograph) came happily barking towards me. As I have had dogs all my life and formed some extraordinary bonds with as well my own dogs as those of friends, I of course welcome any dog that wants to say hello. The owner (depicted on the photo) also greeted me and after a brief friendly exchange I continued on my route. Ten minutes later I heard this scooter notice behind me and turned around and saw this darling picture unfolding. To me this image portrays all you expect of a country dog’s life on a working farm. Their eagerness, their innocence and the way they so happily go wherever they may be needed makes them men’s best co-workers. I am not a photographer by profession but rather passionate baker. This photograph was solely taken to bring joy to my friends at home as I was exploring the beauty of the English countryside which I have loved all my life almost as much as dogs. I enrolled this photo in the competition not to win but simply to share with others as I am sure the scene will warm many hearts as it did mine.
2 Man’s Best Friend 3rd Place Winner, ‘Meeting Of The Minds’ By Michele Mccue, Canada
Dog: “KAT”, Standard long hair Dachshund puppy My husband and I reside on our farm west of Prince George B.C., Canada where I have the opportunity to do what I love…photography. My photography is primarily night images (Aurora Borealis, Stars and moon) although animal/dog photography is another favourite of mine. I have been a dog lover/owner all my life, we welcomed our newest member KAT the Dachshund into our lives last year and have never looked back! This photograph was taken one snowy winter morning, my husband came in from morning chores on our farm to sit down for his cup of tea and Kat leaped into his lap, they locked eyes, neither moved and I grabbed my camera, the meeting of the minds continued for several seconds until my husband spoke, Kat then washed his face with several kisses! To capture a moment, to tell a story through the lens of my camera brings me great joy, thank you so much for choosing this image as it is very dear to me.
3 Rescue Dogs Charity Category 1st Place Winner, ‘Finntastic’ By Anne Geier, Austria
Dog: Finn, Rescue dog cross breed I am a dog photographer from Austria. I have studied geography, but always knew that my true passion is the photography. Since 2014 I work as a dog photographer. The reason why I started to take photos was my first dog Cindy, she was also rescued from a shelter in Austria. First I just wanted to take photos of her to create moments for eternity but then a real passion arisen. Now I have two rescued dogs, Finn and Yuri. Both are from Rumania. Beside the photography I love travelling and hiking with my dogs. I think my assignment in life is to create living moments of dogs for their owners, try to show how beautiful beings dogs are and try to convince some people that rescued dogs are really awesome. For all those reasons I always try my best to show the soulful nature of the dogs in my photos. This photo shows my own dog Finn. I took the photo during our holiday in the Dolomites last year. We rescued Finn from Rumania in 2014. Since that time he fills our life with so much love. I never met another dog who has the same patience and calmness. He is such a lovely dog … and I always hope that all the people can feel his special power through my photos of him. I am nominating “Streunerhoffnung” dog rescue in Austria for the £500 donation from the Kennel Club Charitable Trust. This rescue helped us to get a dog, called now Taavi, out of a shelter named Botosani. I am still very thankful to them.
4 Rescue Dogs Charity Category 2nd Place Winner, ‘Curiosity’ By Tianhang Zhang, China
Dog: Borzoi,no names I graduated from Nottingham Trent University as a graduate student where I studied dog photography. After graduation, I returned to China to work as a full-time pet photographer and raised three dogs, one of which was a adopted (rescue dog). I really enjoy being with my dogs. I thank them every day for coming into my life. When I took pictures of them, they had just been abandoned by a kennel. My friend temporarily adopted them and tried to find a new home for them. When I visited them for the first time, they stared at me curiously. Then I waved my camera, playing with them and snapping pictures. In front of people, they are like innocent children. It’s hard to imagine the ferocity of their hunting. I miss the time when I interacted with them and I will never forget their lovely faces. Now these lucky guys all have their new homes and live with their people who really love them…