Wellington Dog Photographer Wins International Photography Award

Published: Wed 3 Apr 2024 08:20 AM
Upper Hutt based pet photographer Emma Gough has been awarded the title of Black and White Photographer of the Year after achieving one of the top scores in the Asia Pacific Photography Awards competition.
The Asia Pacific Photography Awards, launched in 2021 and hosted by the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography, is a highly regarded international photographic competition with the goal of celebrating and promoting the diversity of photographic genres worldwide. The competition has 12 categories, including Black and White, attracting hundreds of images from a wide range of international photographers. From these entries, Emma, 27, won the Black and White category with her photo ‘Finding the Light’ which features her own dog Jake, a golden retriever x rough collie. She also received 8th place in the coveted Portrait category, and three other images achieved a Highly Commended award.
Prior to winning the category, ‘Finding the Light’ had already achieved international acclaim by achieving a bronze, silver and highly commended award with multiple competitions. Judge Steve Scalone talks of Emma’s winning image, “to me it has absolutely everything that a classical portrait, and not necessarily photographic, should have. It has a beautiful pose and a stance that is brilliantly strong. It almost feels like a selenium print.”
Emma said, “this achievement still hasn’t sunk in, it feels surreal. I absolutely adore photographing dogs and for a photo of my own dog Jake to achieve first place means so much. To be competing alongside, and beating, such successful and titled photographers just doesn’t make sense to me. I love the craft of photography and am constantly looking to learn and improve and this result really spurs me on to continue with this.”
Emma has only just entered her second year of photographic competition. While being constantly attached to a camera from the age of six, Emma hadn’t taken photography seriously until after the COVID lockdown in late 2021. She found she was enjoying photographing her two dogs and invested in her learning via multiple online courses and communities. As a result, in 2023, Emma received 32 various awards amongst different competitions, including a second and a third place for her image ‘Facing the Immensity Together’ which highlights the companionship dogs can provide in times of need. This image has been her most successful to date and has been picked up by more than 50 international news outlets.
You can see more of Emma’s work and follow her photographic journey on her Instagram: @emmagoughphotography

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