MEET THE JUDGES

Alex Cearns

Australia

Australian photographer Alex Cearns OAM crafts exquisite animal portraits that convey the intrinsic joy people find in animals. As Creative Director of Perth based Houndstooth Studio, she photographs around 1000 animals per year and her clients include engaged pet lovers, leading corporate brands and Australian and international animal charities and conservation organisations. Her images have been published extensively in worldwide media, books, magazines and ad campaigns and she has 7 published books. An undisputed leader in her niche, Alex is the recipient of more than 350 awards for her photography, business and philanthropy including an Order of Australia medal awarded in 2019 for services to animal charities through photography. She is a photography judge for local camera clubs, global competitions and photography magazines and is an Ambassador for Tamron lenses. After almost a decade of mentoring and coaching fellow photographers on how to achieve their business goals, Alex launched Black Cat Consulting and released her now sought after ‘Business Acceleration Program for Pet Photographers’ to clients all over the world.

Alex's Website

Alice Loder

U.K.

Wanting to provide an alternative to the well-known quirky, cute pet portrait. Alice began her journey, exploring classic portraits of pets in 2015. With a strong focus on ethics and a passion for Canine Psychology, her photography explores the subject's emotions and strives to challenge stereotypes and everyday perceptions.

In 2018 Alice began offering 1:1 tuition, and workshops with a focus on ethics in dog photography and individuality for the photographer's style. Over the years she has both organised and led workshops and retreats in the UK and abroad.

Residing in Weybridge, Surrey with her two Working Cocker Spaniels; Bonnie and Piper. Alice works with charities, businesses, studs, and media publications, specialising with working dogs, mental health and modern ethics within the dog community.

Her private commissions focus on the client's interior, to create fine art canine portraits that are displayed in hand made frames to compliment the surrounding interior. She has had the privilege of working with a number of luxury brands, celebrities and media organisations.

Alice's Website

Alicja Zmysłowska

Poland

Through 15 years of experience in dog photography Alicja has developed her own artistic, emotional and dreamy style recognised all over the globe. In her art she values uniqueness and presentation of new ideas.

Her work is instantly recognisable for her ability to transport the viewer into another world, where the stunning beauty of nature is combined with the unique personalities of the dogs she photographs. She is a master of colour and tone, composition and expression, and a true pioneer in the soft, dreamy style that she is so well known for.

Her work has been awarded countless times in photography contests and published at international photography portals like National Geographic Yourshot, My Modern Metropolis, PetaPixel and photography magazines like Digital Camera UK, Digital Camera Poland, FV Photo and Video and many more. 

Alicja's Website

Belinda Richards

Australia

Named as the Overall Photographer of the Year by the Societies of Photographers in 2022, Belinda Richards has quickly proved that pet photography is more than just photos of cute dogs. As the founder and Creative Director of Frog Dog Studios Belinda has quickly become known for capturing animals unique expressions, poses and personality. Her sense of humour, subtle social conscious and mastery of Photoshop is seen throughout her work which aims to delight and excite.

Belinda’s love of the craft see’s her handing every step of the creative process from capture to print ensuring each step is executed expertly to perfection. This coupled with her history of working with animals sees her intuitively capture her subjects like no other, creating fine art portraits that communicate, connect and emote.

Recognised by several institutes Belinda holds a BA in Fine art from RMIT, is a Master with Distinction II with NZIPP, Master Photographer with WPPI and has been awarded many international accolades. You may have also seen her work appear in many international publications including Forbes, Business Insider and My Modern Met.

You will typically find Belinda in her Yarraville studio where the magic comes to life for her furry clients.

Belinda's Website

Charlotte Reeves

Australia

One of the OG’s of the industry, Charlotte is an internationally-acclaimed Australian photographer who has been professionally photographing pets since 2007. From the very start of her career, Charlotte has focused on combining beautiful natural light with unique landscapes, along with an innate understanding of canine behaviour, to create work that is both organic and vibrant. She’s widely known for her trademark backlit style and capturing dogs in action.

In 2018 Charlotte joined the Australian Institute of Professional Photography and shortly afterwards was awarded the AIPP Queensland Epson Pet/Animal Photographer of the Year. She has won numerous awards and has been widely published.

Addicted to creating lightbulb moments for her students, Charlotte has been sharing her extensive knowledge through teaching and mentoring over the last decade. She relishes simplifying tricky concepts, and helping students achieve their goals by making the learning fun, practical, and positive.

Along with New Zealand pet photographer Craig Turner-Bullock, Charlotte runs a popular education platform called Unleashed Education, which offers membership-based content focused on the art of pet photography, private mentoring and international workshops.

Charlotte also volunteers her time and talent to aid several rescue groups through fundraising events and regularly photographs adoptable pets to help them find new forever families.

Charlotte's Website

Craig Turner-Bullock

New Zealand

Self confessed crazy cat daddy, puppy parent & patisserie addict Craig Turner-Bullock has been photographing pets since 2001. Craig’s business, Furtography, is based in Christchurch, New Zealand. He works with private and commercial clients all over the world to capture images filled with colour, purrsonality and sparkle!

Craig is the photographer/author of three bestselling books, Quake Dogs (which spent 10 weeks at #1 on the NZ Bestsellers list), Quake Cats and A Dog’s Life (also bestsellers), published by Penguin Random House. The Quake books have sold almost 40,000 copies in New Zealand and raised over $35,000 for animal rescue organisations that assisted pets in the devastating aftermath ofd the 2010/11 Christchurch earthquakes.

An accredited Master of Photography of the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography. In 2018 Craig won the title of New Zealand Portrait Photographer of the Year, the first time in the 80-year history of NZIPP that the award has been given to images of non-humans. Craig has now won more than 100 awards and titles for his pet images around the worlds. He is also an official ambassador for Fujifilm Global.

As well as client work, Craig loves working with charities on adoption photographs and is an ambassador for the Kotuku Foundation Assistance Animals Aotearoa, who train and place assistance dogs with those who need them.

Unleashed Education is an online education resource for pet photographers that Craig launched with renowned Australian pet photographer Charlotte Reeves early in 2021. It focusses on the creative aspects of pet photography, including Craigs Foundation course “Unleash Your Style”, which helps photographers find their creative voice, or as he calls it, their glitter. Craig has been teaching online and in person workshops and speaking at national and international events since 2015.

Craig's Website

Denise Landerberg

Sweden

Multi award winning photographer and internationally acclaimed professional in her field - Denise has a huge passion for horses. Since she was young animals has been a big passion, especially horses in their poetic movement and inspiring lines and shapes. She has been in the field since 16 years old, competing nationally since 17 years old. Today she is offering both photo sessions for private clients as well as coaching, workshop and photography tours for photographers, to spread her knowledge and to inspire others.

Denise's Website

Diana Lundin

U.S.A.

Diana Lundin is a Los Angeles-based pet photographer specializing in dramatic, fine art portraits of dogs and cats. A former newspaper reporter, Diana believes every animal is a dignified being worthy of love, celebration, and a damn fine framed photo of themselves on the wall.

Diana's Website

Elke Vogelsang

Germany

Elke Vogelsang is a photographer from Germany. When her husband fell seriously ill a few years ago, she used photography as a means to try to get her mind off things and to cope with the stressful time. Fortunately, everything turned out well. The passion for photography turned into something like a healing creative outlet and finally into a profession. She now works as an editorial and commercial photographer specializing in pet photography. Her three 'photography companion dogs' and beloved canine family members Noodles, Scout and Ioli are the stars of her licensing archive. They as well as Elke's other animal models claim their share of worldwide fame by publications in magazines and newspapers all over the world, including The Sunday Times magazine and National Geographic. She's the author of two books as well as numerous articles about photography. Her works were exhibited in group and solo shows throughout the world, e.g. Paris, London, Lisbon, San Anselmo, and Singapore.

Statement: Dogs are funny characters. They find pleasure in the most mundane things. My dogs are my joy, recreation, and constant source of laughter, though they can be shy and sad as well; they comfort me in bad times. They are members of the family, the kind I love to have around. I can never get into trouble with my dogs, because they are unpretentious and forgiving. I would never say that I prefer dogs to humans’ after all, some people mean the world to me; but I would definitely say that dogs enrich my life in numerous ways. My hope is that I give back to them at least half of what they give me. As I try to explore in photography all the emotions I share with my dogs, I pay homage to them and also to life.

Elke's Website

Jess McGovern

U.K.

With over 185 international recognitions for her own work covering pets, people, open and commercial categories along with 6 "Photographer of the Year" titles, Jess recommends image competitions to photographers for a number of reasons including self-development, PR opportunities and general marketing ammunition too.

Founder of That Tog Spot and a stickler for the details, her community dubbed her judging alter-ego "Picky Patricia" for good reason. She sits best on panels just like this one, comprising of detail-oriented, story-led and light-loving judges to result in a truly balanced view of the image in question. She remains steadfastly neutral for any critique or judging responsibilities - especially where style is concerned.

She spends around 6 hours every week critiquing images to help photographers grow and regularly judges competitions in a variety of genres. Regardless of location, means, background or circumstance, Jess believes that photography is a skill where every individual can feel safe in their personal expression. She loves the weird and the wonderful along with nature, landscapes, moving pieces of portraiture and high-impact imagery.

Away from photography competitions and education, you'll find Jess either at work in the studio, camping in a rooftop tent with her husband and their four dogs (cups of tea in hand!) or away at a competition with their horse, a Spanish PRE mare called Tuna.

Jess's Website

Jo Howell

Australia

Jo Howell is a photography lifer!

Starting her shooting career in her teens, she holds a degree in Scientific and Industrial Photography, has lived and worked on four continents and travelled the world taking photographs.

Jo’s list of photography jobs reads like a bad rap sheet 😊 she has worked in family and newborn, wedding, real estate, diagnostic, tourism, press, school, dance, event and commercial and photography. They all taught her something but it was while running photographic tours through Africa that she found her true calling, animal photography.

Now Jo not only runs JHP Studio, one of Melbourne's most successful pet photography studios, but also spends 3 days a week photographing for Zoos Victoria. From the microscopic to the gigantic, Jo see's the beauty and fascination in it all and relishes creating images full of heart, humour and hope.

Recent Awards
Finalist Grand Imaging Award - Animals Category - IPC 2023
Master photographer of the Year - Australian Photographic Prize 2022
WINNER - "Experimental" Category - Sienna Creative Photo Awards 2022
Finalist- Illustrative Category - NZIPP 2022
2nd - Open Creative Category – WPPI The Annual 2021
2nd & 3rd Pet & Animal Category- Rise International Photo Awards 2020

Jo's Website

Kaylee Greer

U.S.A.

Kaylee Greer, one of the most sought after multi-international, award-winning ‘dogtographers’ in the world and a creative leader in her industry, has dedicated her life to telling the stories of the dogs who have been forgotten and left behind. Through her camera lens, her mission is to give a voice to the voiceless, and capture the endless spirit and whimsy of dog in a single photograph. Kaylee’s images grace books, magazines, products, packaging, calendar lines, greeting cards, and advertising campaigns throughout the commercial pet industry. Kaylee is known for her love of vibrant colors and her imagery’s emphasis on the comedy and character of man’s best friend. Her unique photographic style is drawn directly from the inspiration she finds inside the soul of a dog. She is fueled by the joy, whimsy and unrelenting happiness that is so remarkably canine.

In 2018 High Noon Entertainment (‘Fixer Upper’, ‘Cake Boss’) produced a three-part television series starring Greer for National Geographic Wild. ‘Pupparazzi’ chronicles the vibrant photographer’s adventures in capturing shelter dogs in need, dogs with incredible stories, and commercial pet brands in search of once-in-a-lifetime imagery.

Kaylee’s best-selling book “Dogtography” has quickly become the quintessential guide for those looking to make a splash in the world of dog photography. Jam-packed with infectious personality, “Dogtography” showcases both Kaylee’s depth of knowledge on the topic of photographing dogs, and her ability to share that knowledge with others, making it an absolutely must-have resource for both amateur and professional photographers.

Kaylee's Website

Mareike Konrad

Germany

Mareike Konrad is a full time, award-winning dog photographer, based in Leipzig, Germany. Her passion is to create vibrant and colorful images of dogs as well as emotional pictures of the dogs and their humans.
As a mentor and businesscoach, she accompanies and inspires pet photographers in turning their passion into a sustainable business.

Mareike's Website

Nicole Begley

U.S.A.

Nicole Begley is a zoological animal trainer turned pet photographer and educator. She is the founder of Hair of the Dog Academy, an online community in which she empowers pet photographers to improve their craft and grow their business. Nicole has authored the sold out book “Pet and Equine Photography for Everyone”, however it is still available on Amazon for Kindle.


She established Nicole Begley Photography in Pittsburgh, PA in 2010 to create bespoke artwork for the animal obsessed but now serves the market of Charlotte, NC. Nicole is an international award-winning pet photographer, having received a Photographer of the Year designation from Professional Photographers of America numerous times, as well as numerous local and state awards. She has also earned the title of Certified Professional Photographer (CPP), a peer-reviewed certification.


Nicole shares her home with her husband, two teenage humans, and her coconut retriever (island rescue dog) Cami. Oh yes, she is also Chief of Staff to Emma the cat and proud horse mom to her Dutch Warmblood gelding Morocco. She is the creator of the #selfiedog series, a travel addict, and a chocolate martini connoisseur.

Nicole's Website

Phyllis Burchet

U.S.A.

Prior to her photography career, Phyllis and her husband owned and operated Burchett Equine Center. As a professional horse trainer, horses, and clients that Phyllis trained won numerous world, national and year-end awards. They also operated a large-scale breeding farm where Phyllis was Breeding Manager. It was her responsibility to oversee everything from stallion collection to artificial insemination to the foaling process.

In the beginning as an enthusiastic hobbyist Phyllis traveled from France to the USA to level up her photography skills. By attending these events it gave her a better understanding of how to help her current clients through the workshops and tours she hosts. She also loves to create fine art through her images, some say her work has a painterly feel to it. Phyllis is an open book by sharing these tips and techniques with her students through her weekly newsletter, mentorships, and events. 

Phyllis's photography has been recognized in many venues, winning multiple awards both nationally and internationally.

She has been published in Western Horseman, Cowboys and Indians Magazine, the Appaloosa Journal, Working Ranch Magazine, Cowboy Lifestyle Magazine, Horse and Rider Magazine, Trailblazher Magazine, the Equestrian Magazine of China, Sport and Trail Magazine, Lippizan News, Inner Reflections Calendar, Natures Best Photography Magazine, Expressions Magazine (NANPA), and Seascapes.

Phyllis is 1/3 of the trio that makes up the group Cowgirls with Cameras. Three friends formed this group to help promote the western lifestyle through photography with their bi-monthly podcast and yearly photography events.

 Phyllis is represented by the World Art Group and Arcangel-Images.

Phyllis's Website

Richard Wood

New Zealand

Richard is a highly acclaimed multi-genre photographer who resides in the beautiful sunny Hawke's Bay, New Zealand. His passion for photography extends beyond just taking pictures as he also works as a photographic educator, sharing his knowledge and experience with aspiring photographers. Richard is the author of three comprehensive online courses that delve into the intricacies of photography through the Portrait System.

As the director and head judge of the Portrait Masters Awards and Accreditation competition, Richard has made significant contributions to the photography industry. He has earned a reputation as one of the most awarded photographers globally, and his recent accolades speak volumes about his expertise. Richard has been the grand award winner for two consecutive years (2021 and 2022) at the Asia Pacific Photography Awards, and he has also been recognized as the grand award winner at WPPI.

Richard has been awarded the prestigious New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography (NZIPP) New Zealand Professional Photographer of the Year title four times, in addition to winning multiple categories at WPE, APPA, WPPI, and NZIPP. He is a Grand Master of Photography at NZIPP, a rare achievement that showcases his mastery of the craft.

Richard's exceptional talent, attention to detail, and commitment to his craft have made him an invaluable contributor to the world of photography. He continues to inspire and educate photographers around the world with his knowledge and expertis

Richards's Website

Sam Haddix

U.S.A.

The quieter half of Dog Breath Photography, Sam Haddix has made dog photography his full-time career for over a decade. Sam is a graduate of Berklee College of Music, a horror movie aficionado, a passionate teacher, and co-host of the Adventures in Dog Photography podcast along with world-renown dog photographer Kaylee Greer. 

Sam's Website

Travis Patenaude

U.S.A.

Internationally renowned dog photographer Travis Patenaude of Stink-Eye Photography creates unique portraits that foster an emotional connection between the subject and the viewer. He believes emotions and feelings are a vital part of telling stories and has to be put in a form that touches the hearts of people' to evoke empathy and to have the viewer want to learn more about these dogs. Travis is an advocate for animal rescue and animal rights, in particular raising awareness for the plight of the hunting dogs of Spain. He has won international awards and have been published across international print, online media, and magazines.

Travis's Website