Overall winning image by Nick Johns
Today, Genuine Moments competition organiser, Forces Mutual announces the winners of its photography competition for the Armed Forces community including Civilian Contractors and the wider Military family. We announced the launch of the competition back in October.
Seven winners including one overall winner have been selected from over 100 eligible entry photographs spanning two RAF helicopters reflected in the waters of the River Ouse as they fly over on a training mission, framed by early autumnal woodland and a moody sky, and the close up of a Labrador puppy looking straight to camera, sporting a Remembrance Day poppy with Military boots just out of focus in the background.
Overall winner Royal Engineer Section Commander Nick Johns was awarded the highest prize for capturing fellow 22 Engineer Regiment “Sapper” and street artist Adam Williams painting Queen Elizabeth II onto a wall in their Camp Taji barracks in Iraq to commemorate Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday in May 2016.
Talking about the moment depicted in the image, Nick comments, “Inspired by a painting of Winston Churchill already present in the barracks when we arrived, Adam Williams took to creating an image of the Queen on the opposite wall to add to our patriotic picture gallery. Military camps in Iraq don’t tend to be the most homely places, so I wanted to mark Adam adding a much-needed dose of colour and creativity to our living quarters. The picture was taken on my Nikon D800 using a Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens.” As overall prize winner Nick will receive £750 of photography vouchers from Forces Mutual.
The judging panel which included representatives from Forces Mutual, its parent Police Mutual Group, Amateur Photographer magazine, and BFBS were stunned by the quantity and creativity of images received. Panel judge Mike Laird, a former Afghanistan photographer embedded with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and photography lecturer commented, “These images tell the unseen stories of Military lives, distilled down into single moments. They are fantastic, especially for amateurs.”
The judges were unanimous in their selection of the overall winning image, impressed by the juxtaposition of the informality of street art with the regal splendor of a royal portrait, all within the stark and dusty confines of a Military camp in Iraq. Mike Crofts, Head of Military Relationships, Forces Mutual commented, “For me Nick Johns was the clear winner because what he has captured is truly a genuine moment that would never have been seen by the wider world if not for this competition. Thanks to the wealth of fantastic photographs received we have created a limited edition 2017 Genuine Moments photographic calendar to show off more images than we were able to honour through the competition.”
Winners of the additional Genuine Moments categories were:
- Everyday life on duty winner - Wayne Page Sr
- Everyday life working with the UK Armed Forces personnel- Philip Dye, (also won eligibility “children's category” prize)
- R&R on base winner - Nick Johns
- My life as part of the Military family - James Goff, (also won eligibility “families” prize)
- Animals in the Military - Kelly Lambert Lee
- Judges’ Favourite - Otis Taitt
- Serving Armed Forces personnel - Philip Collins
Forces Mutual designed the Genuine Moments photography competition to revolutionise the images of the Military that the public are exposed to - less parades, prestigious functions and ‘boots on tarmac’ - and show more intimate insights into the lives of the people who put their lives on the line every day, focusing on the stories of individuals and their relationships with everyone from children to colleagues and the family pet.