BVA Veterinary Photographer of the Year award winners - Veterinary Practice
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BVA Veterinary Photographer of the Year award winners

Creative talent and artistic flair of vets revealed as the British Veterinary Association announces the winners of the Veterinary Photographer of the Year competition

With entries featuring images of playful dogs, calves being born and a colourful chameleon, this year’s Veterinary Photographer of the Year competition did not disappoint as vets from across the UK got creative with their cameras to snap unique and powerful images.

The much-loved British Veterinary Association (BVA) photography competition, which is sponsored by iM3 Dental, showcases the best companion animal, farm animal and wildlife photography and attracted hundreds of entries this year. The winners and highly commended entries, which include charming photos of pets, have been revealed during National Pet Month, which runs until the end of April.

Veterinary Photographer of the Year winners

Laura Caballero won the new “Sustainable futures” category with her photograph “Decisions”, which shows a captured fish held aloft by two grasped hands in front of a chimney bellowing smoke into the air. Laura qualified from the University Complutense of Madrid and then worked in an animal shelter and spay-neuter clinic in Spain for some years. She has also completed some veterinary projects around the world including in Nepal, Camboya and Botswana, before coming to Newcastle three years ago and recently got her Surgery PgCert.

Laura, who loves travelling and photography, said: “I´m really happy that my photo has been recognised because that means it can transmit and create reflection about the future we want to create or avoid. As veterinarians, we have a key role to work for a sustainable future: how we stay in the world, what we buy, what we eat and how we produce it. Each decision has an impact in the world where we live.”

Peter Orpin won the “All creatures great and small” category with his photo “Who’s arrived”, which captured a Gentoo penguin in Antarctica just three weeks before lockdown in 2020. Peter graduated from Bristol in 1983 and worked in practice for 38 years. He has recently retired from clinical practice in the Park Vet Group in Leicestershire to focus more on consultancy work in both leadership and to continue support for Johne’s disease control.

Peter said: “I’m absolutely delighted. The light was fantastic that warm day. A Minke whale had just surfaced, the glacier ice was groaning and creaking. We were ushered up the beach for fear of the ice caving and causing a tsunami in the narrow cove. That gave me a fantastic silhouetted shot of the penguin. The interactions between wildlife and the humans were stunning and best seen from a kayak. The penguin looked at the ship with apparent bewilderment and wonder!”

Bob Lehner won the “Happy pets that make us smile” category with a photo titled “Chick Lit”, which sees him and his pet hen Hopalong Cassidy sharing a good book together. Bob is a semi-retired GP vet who lives near Bude on the beautiful North Devon/Cornwall coast. He said: ”I was delighted that the photograph of my pet chicken Hopalong Cassidy enjoying some quality leisure time with myself was deemed worthy of a prize. She was an ex-battery rescue and arrived with a badly broken leg. We nursed her back to health and she became very bonded with us.”

The judges also chose two highly commended photographic entries for each category. The highly commended photographers were:

Sustainable futures

  • “Collision of Worlds” by Robyn Geddes
  • “Dragonfly” by Charlotte Clough

All creatures great and small

  • “On the prowl” by Jasvinder Kaur
  • “First steps” by Nestor Moreno Casanova

Happy pets which make us smile

  • “With a spring in your step” by Laura Keyser
  • “Sweet summer bliss” by Savannah Armstrong

The high-quality of the entries for the Veterinary Photographer of the Year competition meant that the judging panel – which consisted of BVA President Justine Shotton, iM3 Dental’s European HR Sharon Hamill Huff and Jack Conway from the Association of Veterinary Students (AVS) – found it “extremely difficult” to narrow the number down, but all three judges were delighted by the winners.

Justine Shotton offered her congratulations to all of the winners and highly commended entries and said: “As always we have been absolutely delighted by the high quality of the images we have received as entries for the annual competition. There was such a range of subjects captured on camera, from reptiles to penguins, from foxes to insects, and the composition of each was impressive. It is fantastic to see the artistic talent possessed by members of the veterinary profession.

“Congratulations to all of the winners and highly commended; we wish we could have selected more images as so many deserved a special mention and we thank everyone for entering their stunning photos.”

Sharon Hamill Huff added: “The standard of the photos was fantastic and it was so difficult to whittle down the entries to just a few winners. There are some incredibly talented vets out there and it was really enjoyable to see the results of their hard work and artistic skills. It was wonderful to see the range of different animals and locations which featured in the entries, from farmyard animals in the countryside, dogs at the beach and penguins in Antarctica. A very big thank you and well done to everyone who took part in the competition this year.”

The winning images, as well as those that were highly commended, for the 2022 Veterinary Photographer of the Year competition will be displayed in the BVA members area at BVA Live at NEC Birmingham in June. The photos can be downloaded here.

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