Dog Photographer of the Year 2019 launches today

The Kennel Club has once again begun its search for the best dog photographers in the world today, with the launch of its annual Dog Photographer of the Year competition.

The prestigious competition, which is free to enter, welcomes submissions from budding and professional photographers from across the globe and of all ages. Photographers have until 10th April 2019 to submit their images.

Founded in 2005, Dog Photographer of the Year has attracted thousands of images from photographers around the world, and last year received 10,000 entries from over 90 different countries, including China, Israel, Russia, Argentina and South Africa, making it the biggest and most popular canine photography competition in the world.

Sponsored principally by SmugMug and Flickr, along with prize sponsors Nikon School UK and Loxley Colour, Dog Photographer of the Year is judged by an international panel of photographers, curators and canine experts from the Kennel Club.

As well as outstanding exposure for their work, photographers can win a SmugMug photography website to showcase their work online and a one-day photography course offered by Nikon School UK, as well as a trophy and exhibition print from Loxley Colour presented at the awards ceremony. All category winners will have their images on display at the Kennel Club Art Gallery in London.

The competition is accepting submissions until 10th April 2019 for each of the ten categories:

  • Dogs at Play
  • Portrait
  • Oldies
  • Dogs at Work
  • Puppies
  • Man's Best Friend
  • Young Pup Photographer (for entrants aged 11 and under)
  • ‘I Love Dogs Because …’ (for entrants aged between 12 and 17)
  • Assistance Dogs
  • Rescue Dogs

An overall winner will then be chosen from the top ten images.

Monica van der Maden from the Netherlands was selected as the overall winner of the 2018 competition, with an image of Noa the Great Dane seemingly alone in a forest.

On winning the world’s largest canine photography competition, Monica said: “Photography is what I love doing the most. I always try to capture the image of a dog in a way that you can see the emotion in their eyes, when I took this picture in the forest early one morning, Noa looked at her owner and you could feel the love between them.”

The overall winner also receives a dedicated capsule exhibition of their own photographic work in the world-famous Kennel Club Art Gallery, and the Assistance Dog and Rescue Dog category winners receive a £500 donation from the Kennel Club Charitable Trust to their chosen dog charity. 

Last year’s ‘Assistance Dogs’ category was won by Dean Mortimer from Castle Combe, Wiltshire, who captured the unique bond between man and dog as German Shepherd Dog, Rocko, comforted his ex-soldier owner who suffers from PTSD, while Sonya Kolb from New Jersey in the United States was named as the winner of the ‘Rescue Dog’ award for her intimate portrait of a rescued Labrador and his loving new owners. The Kennel Club Charitable Trust donated £500 to the charities of both winners’ choice, Service Dogs UK and Monmouth County SPCA respectively.

SmugMug's Global Marketing Manager, Alastair Jolly, commented: “SmugMug's continued involvement in the competition is one of the highlights of the year for a company like ours that loves celebrating photography and is passionate about dogs. This year we are also delighted to bring Flickr to the competition as co-sponsors. Both our brands bring together a community that represents the best of photography. Together, SmugMug and Flickr are excited to continue to support and see the Dog Photographer of the Year Competition go from strength to strength."

For more information and to officially register and enter, please visit