By Hannah Stevens @@hannahshewans
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For the first time, the founders of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards have launched a photography award show giving proud pet owners a chance to show off their quirky pets.
Photographers Tom Sullam and Paul Johnson-Hicks MBE have collected over 2500 entries and, after some careful consideration, they have narrowed down the hilarious photos to their favourites.
Tom said: “We want primarily a laugh out loud moment: a picture that grabs us instantaneously.
“The idea of the competition is to make us appreciate our pets for their humour, and their ability to give us so much more than just company.
“The pictures that make us laugh the most are the ones that make us appreciate pets the most.”
Winners will be announced in early September, once the judges have made a final decision.
A panel of expert judges are now going through the finalists to select their winner and runners up - the team includes Paul Joynson-Hicks MBE and Tom Sullam, TV wildlife presenter Kate Humble, longtime publisher of photography magazines Adam Scorey, veterinary surgeon Emma Milne, photographer Simon Pollock and Michelle Riley, Director of Photography at The Humane Society of the United States.
Sullam added: “It has been an absolutely fantastic response to a fledgling competition.
“There are so many wonderful images that have been entered, and many that were so close to making the final 40.
“We hope the competition will continue to raise awareness of animals and it has tied in brilliantly with the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards, which will announce winners in December.”
The awards are split into five categories: overall competition winner, junior photographer (15 and under), the ancients (70 and over), pets who look like their owners and “Gone to the Dogs” - which is just for man’s best friend.
The overall winner of the Comedy pet Photography Awards 2017 will win £2,000, an Urban Approach 5 camera bag from the THINK TANK people, £100 WEX Photographic gift voucher and a trophy handmade by disabled men and women in Tanzania by the Wonder Workshop.
Each category winner will also receive a camera bag and £100 gift voucher, plus certificate.