Are your lockdown animal snaps worthy of an award?

The RSPCA is offering young people the chance to win amazing prizes in return for them getting snap happy with their favourite animals.

The RSPCA Young Photographer Awards is now open for entries and judges are hoping this year’s categories will appeal to more entrants than ever.

Those aged 18 or under with an eye for an amazing photo will have the chance for their talents to be recognised by some of the country’s top animal photographers.

The competition is celebrating its 30th year this year and has seen winning images from young people from all walks of life, featuring all species of animals, and taken on a range of different cameras – including smartphones.

A brand-new category ‘Small world’ will also be launched this year, to reflect the current changes to everyday life under lockdown and recognise the creativity young people can demonstrate during these challenging times.

The category encourages children to create a photo that tells a story of their own whilst keeping safe during lockdown, showing their own personal small world of family or pets, or that of wildlife that can be spotted during walks, or under pets in a garden.

The first prize for this year’s special anniversary competition is a weekend break worth £650, photographing the spectacular deer rut with award winning photographers from Natures Images.

Winners of the People’s Choice and Instagram categories will be presented with a trophy, as well as snapping up £100 of Amazon vouchers.

Judges of the competition include, TV presenter Chris Packham, award-wining photographer and filmmaker and BBC drone pilot Sam Rowley, and wildlife photographer and former competition winner Catriona Parfitt.

Judge, wildlife champion and RSPCA vide-president Chris Packham said: “The Young Photographer Awards have always provided a unique creative outlet for young people with a real passion and talent for photography and animals, but particularly during this current difficult time with everyone in lockdown and self-isolating, we’re really hoping it will give many of them a fresh focus to create something amazing.

“Whether it’s that lucky snap taken on a whim outside a bedroom window that perfectly captures a wild animal, or a beautiful image taken after hours of patiently waiting for a hedgehog or badger to creep into your garden at dusk, we want to see them all. And it doesn’t have to be wildlife – why not capture your pet’s personality in a portrait or perhaps a more artistic portrayal of your furry, feathered or scaly companion.”

The closing date of the competition is 14 August, and hopeful entrants can submit their images online at www.rspca.org.uk/ypa.

There are eight categories; under 12s, 12-15 years, 16-18 years, Mobile Phone and Devices, Picture Perfect Pets, Portfolio and new for 2020, ‘Small World’.

Former winning photo Gotcha’ by Becca Jones