Wedding and Lifestyle photographer Sofie Louca has been announced as the Annabel Williams Photographer of the Year 2009 at a sparkling event at the Getty Images Gallery in London.
The competition attracted almost 1000 entries, from as far afield as Australia and India, and boasted a total prize fund of more than £10,000.
Sofie won the Teenagers/Adults category of the awards and was also runner up in the Wedding Album category, before going on to be awarded the overall Photographer of the Year award with her stunning image of a young couple on a beach. On top of her category prizes, Sofie also scoops a Canon EOS 5D MkII camera and lens worth more than £2,500.
The awards, now in their second year, attract entries from some of the most talented photographers from around the world. Annabel Williams is constantly reinventing and changing the photographic industry and is determined to gain recognition for the talents of social photographers. Annabel said, "20 years ago, when I told people I was a portrait and wedding photographer, the response I got was very negative; I was determined to raise the status of this element of photography, and now with a network of like-minded photographers everywhere, I feel we have succeeded.
Having won many competitions over the years, Annabel decided to create her own awards to showcase the amazing talents of wedding and portrait photographers. Annabel continued: ‘We are the people who are out there shooting normal people! People who are not models and do not know what to do in front of a camera; this is a huge skill and needs celebrating!
"The Awards have generated phenomenal interest and it’s great to see so many photographers producing truly inspirational images. The standard of entries was awesome and it was such a tough job to shortlist the images.
" The judges commented on Sofie’s winning image, "This is a great shot. Original, dynamic and very striking. We particularly loved the way the couple were laughing so much, which creates vibrancy and impact within the shot.
Sofie said, "When I was informed a few weeks ago that I was a category winner and a runner up in another category it was totally unexpected - but when I heard my name called out a third time by Annabel at the Awards’ Ceremony it was quite a mix of emotions. I was over the moon at being chosen but also just as astonished and speechless – well, maybe not quite speechless but I don’t think I was able to string a cohesive sentence together! As much as we as photographers often say that we shoot for our clients and that’s what matters the most, it’s hugely rewarding to be recognized by your peers in your industry and I’m very grateful to Annabel and the other judges for selecting me as the overall Photographer of the Year. Winning an award like this is very energizing and makes you feel that the countless hours spent behind a camera and in front of the computer were all worthwhile! It's a great motivation and inspires you to achieve more and enhance and improve the skills you already have.
Congratulations also go to the other category winners and runners up:
- Winner – Alexander Whittle
- Runner up – Mike Wharton
Photo Art Category
- Winner – Andy Holdsworth
- Runner up – Jaz Ampaw - Farr
- Winner – Binky Nixon
- Runner up – James Knight - Smith
- Winner – Sofie Louca
- Runner up – Madeleine Calaido Weber
Portrait Album Category
- Winner – Saikat Mukherjee
- Runner Up – John Archibald
Wedding Album Category
- Winner – Sarah Wright
- Runner up – Gill Maheu
- Winner – Jo and Simon Broadhead
- Runner up – Sofie Louca
The judging panel for the Annabel Williams Photographic Awards 2009 was made up of industry experts including Annabel Williams, previous Photographer of the Year Jo de Banzie and a representative from Canon UK.
To see the full collection of winning images visit http://www.annabelwilliams.com/awards
Kindly supporting this year’s awards are some of the biggest names in the photographic industry, including Annabel Williams Contemporary Photographic Training, Canon, Queensbury, SWPP, Amazing Internet, One Vision Imaging, Colourworld Imaging and Freebird.