Canine and equine photographer Jess Wealleans has been named Pet Photographer of the Year at the 2020 MPA International Awards.
Submitting 16 photographs into the awards, all of Jess’ images made it through to the final round of judging. The winning photograph is of six-year-old border collie Alfie, with judges commenting that the image has “brilliant post-production techniques that elevates the expertly captured portrait into something rather special”.
The UK’s leading photography qualification body, the MPA (Master Photographers Association) is one of the longest standing photography associations in Britain, and is well regarded within the industry.
Jess said: “I’m so proud that a young female photographer has achieved such a prestigious international award! I have to give a lot of the credit to the phenomenal dog models and owners who gave their time to help create the 16 entered pieces. I hope to continue to inspire others to follow their passion in creative fields, especially during such a tough year for the industry as a whole.”
Each entry to the MPA International Awards is assessed by an online team of judges, before being allocated a score based on the photographic and post-production skills of the author.
A shortlist of images then proceed to a secondary judging stage, where each image is presented in print, with the final score being an amalgamation of the two judging scores.
Any images that score 80 or more during the judging process are awarded an MPA International Merit. All 16 of Jess’ images received an International Merit, an amazing achievement within the world of photography.
Completely self-taught, Jess picked up her first camera at the age of just 14. Having always been interested in photography, she previously worked full-time as a photographer and teacher, before a change in career saw her leave the industry.
However, after rediscovering her old YouTube channel earlier this year, Jess realised that some of her tutorials had amassed over 17,000 views each. With previous students also starting to come to her for advice, she began creating new videos to help those interested in the subject.
Now Jess holds a range of workshops and online one to ones for photography enthusiasts from around the world, alongside her work running her own marketing agency. She also offers canine and photography sessions on a limited basis.