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Posted: 22nd April 2021

BVA photography contest winners revealed

Vets capture the realities of working during lockdown

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has announced the winners of its 2021 Veterinary Photographer of the Year competition, revealing a captivating selection of images depicting the joy of animals and the realities of working during lockdown.

Specialist equine vet Adele Williams scooped first place in the ‘a vet’s life in lockdown’ category for her image entitled ‘a new working normal: multitasking to new levels’. Highlighting the impact of the pandemic on working mothers, Adele’s striking photo shows Adele writing referral reports while breastfeeding her baby at home.

Adele said: “Initially during lockdown, our baby daughter and four-year-old son were at home, and as the breadwinner, I had to carry on working. I was very lucky that I was able to work remotely, working for two amazing companies that have always supported remote working.

“It was a challenging time juggling being a mummy whilst trying to work at the same time. This photo captures a moment when our baby girl, who was still breastfeeding, needed a feed and I had to get on with work. The sunlight flooding through the window softens the moment; breastfeeding can be a hard but immensely rewarding journey.”

She added: “The image I think shows some of the changes of the time of lockdown: my makeshift and rather messy desk for doing telemedicine, the baby needing me, feeding whilst I'm getting on with work, the comfort of wearing slippers whilst working (every cloud has a silver lining).”

'A vet's life in lockdown' by Adele Williams

All creatures great and small

Scooping the ‘all creatures great and small’ category was Ellie Dudson, a Staffordshire-based vet and relief milker. Her atmospheric photo of a cow standing proud was taken in the middle of afternoon milking on a frosty day in January.

Ellie said: “In the winter, the sun sets perfectly just at the entrance to the parlour and on a clear day it creates an amber glow against the steam created from the warmth of the cows. It was just perfect timing, I got my phone out and snapped the shot.”

'In the spotlight' by Ellie Dudson

Happy pets that make us smile

The ‘happy pets that make us smile’ category was won by Surrey vet student Harriet Williams for her image entitled, ‘in expectant anticipation of a tennis ball’. Judges crowned Harriet’s striking shot, showing an excitable fox red Labrador on the beach, as their overall winner.

Harriet said: “I really love this photo. I was on holiday in Croyde in Devon in summer 2019. My cousins were all coasteering within this little cove, and I was charged with taking photos of them all in action due to an injury at the time. Naturally, animals are my preferred subject so once this energetic fox red lab bounced down the cliff path for a swim I was easily distracted!

“Winning this competition was definitely unexpected, but it has given me a huge confidence boost and a new appreciation for this creative outlet that has brought me a lot of joy in the last few years.”

'In expectant anticipation of a tennis ball' by Harriet Williams.

Entries were judged by a panel of veterinary experts and professional wildlife photographer Aaron Gekoski.

BVA President and fellow judge James Russell said: “It was a great experience being part of the judging panel, and I felt the mix of photographic and veterinary expertise helped us to come to our final decisions, which was very difficult given the range of high-quality images that we received.

“Many of the entries for this year’s award really conveyed the joy that can be found in time spent with animals and in nature, as well as providing a window into what it has been like working as a vet throughout this difficult time.”

The winning photographs are available to view online at bva.co.uk/membership/photo-competition and will be on display at The London Vet Show in November. 


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