May 31st 2017
At the Comedy Pet Photography Awards we are incredibly lucky to have a wonderful group of intelligent, creative, charismatic and brilliant judges, (yup, Paul got on the edit machine again…) So speaking of judges like that without further ado let’s introduce them to you:
Paul Joynson-Hicks MBE
Paul started the Comedy Pet Photo Awards alongside his great pal, (no really they are friends) Tom Sullam. It was of course Paul’s inspired idea, although Tom still says it was his. Paul is a spectacularly brilliant wildlife photographer and (really shouldn’t be allowed to write his own bio) a humungous animal lover. He grew up with dogs and now has his own collection of English Springer Spaniels, as well as chickens and two cats at his home in Arusha, Tanzania. He is totally and utterly hopeless at taking pictures of his pets though and now, because he cant enter this competition, is not going to be any better. Hey ho. He also, quite magnificently, started the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards, which runs at another time of year, do check it out.
You can see Paul’s amazing wildlife pictures and read more about him here:
As a photographer and pet owner, Tom knows his pet cat Slinky better than anyone else (excluding his wife and two children, extended family, neighbors and downright strangers) - putting him in the enviable position of being the lead pet cat photographer judge along with the other judges. Unbelievably, along with this phenomenal pet cat knowledge, Tom has many other strings to his bow. He is a photographer first and foremost, he has helped create the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards and turn it into the rib tickling competition it now is, and he has also worked in London in a completely different and unrelated job. All these skills thrown together have produced one of the most versatile judges for the inaugural Comedy Pet Photography Awards. Without him, this competition would be pretty much unmoved or unchanged.
Kate will be known to many of you, as she is a household name in the land of wildlife TV presenting in the UK and around the world. She started out in TV in 1989 making tea and typing and since then has taken the TV world by storm (i.e. she now makes coffee?!). More recently Kate and Ludo (the Hubster) have moved to Monmouthshire and have this incredible project called Humble by Nature, please check it out. Kate has travelled all over the world and spent years working with TV people and photographers and knows perfectly well what makes and great photograph, she also is a passionate dog owner and loves dogs so much that she has written a wonderful book on them called “Friends for Life” (more details on her website and buy a copy on Amazon, you must its brilliant), she is super funny and lights up a room with her huge smile! We are lucky to have her on the judging panel, being beautiful doesn't have anything to do with it, ooh no! For more info you can find Kate at
You may see Adam on the judging panel as a 'paid for seat' as he is one of the competition's sponsors, but he comes to it with over 24-years photography history behind him. Twelve of those are as a journalist, editor, presenter and publisher of photography magazines in both the pro and enthusiast markets. He’s run many magazine photography competitions, been a judge for Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2013, and spent ten years as a professional newspaper and TV photographer before that. Actually, he admitted his true reason for wanting to be on the panel is that he's a frustrated wildlife film cameraman; he came to photography through watching the likes of Chris Packham on Wildshots, Attenborough on Life on Earth and David Bellamy's TV shows, utterly inspired. However, he said he quickly realised that the dream and reality are rather different – something cameraman Doug Allen helped make clear to him early on. Instead, he has spent the latter part of his career sharing his experience and passion for photography with others through writing, presenting and publishing. You may have seen him on TV as a photo judge on the Gadget Show; he’s made web videos a-plenty about all sorts of photo subjects. Ultimately, photography of all persuasions is in his blood and loquacious about it he is.
Emma qualified as a veterinary surgeon from Bristol University in 1996 and went on to work in a mixed, country practice in Somerset, before moving to Cheltenham for 7 years and then on to York. She is best known for her appearances in the highly successful BBC 1 programme, Vets in Practice and appeared in all eleven series. She has since appeared in numerous TV and radio programmes and has co-presented programmes on wildlife and been a regular guest reporter for BBC’s Inside Out programme. Emma has been involved with many animal welfare organisations and campaigns including tail docking, pedigree dog health and hunting with dogs. A keen writer, Emma has been a feature columnist for several publications including BBCs Girl Talk magazine, Dogs Today and Yours magazine. Emma’s first book, The Truth About Cats and Dogs was published in July 2007 and highlighted the increasing health problems with pedigree dogs and cats. In March 2012 her second book, Tales from the Tail End was published. Her series of five children’s pet care books, The Pet Detective Series, is out now and teaches children that it’s just as important for pets to be happy as well as healthy and encourages them to learn about the pets before they get them. So, as you can see, Emma is the Boss when it comes to Vets and looking after your pets, that's why we chose her. We are clever like that!
Simon is sitting in another of our 'paid for seats' being another sponsor of this great endeavour that is the Comedy Pet Photo Awards. A background in photography and social media, Simon photographed live music for years before switching gears and taking on a handful of portrait and wedding shoots. Moving swiftly on and into a little bit of food photography. In the middle of all of this he's owned a plethora of various pets including his two boys aged 3 and 7 (though some would say that own him). Simon's 'social media life' is based on his looking after all things social media for camera bag makers, ThinkTankPhoto.com as well as a small handful of other brands.
Director of Photography, The Humane Society of the United States.
We at the Comedy Pet Photo Awards are very lucky indeed, and of course very clever, to be partnered with one of the world’s largest and best animal welfare organisations - The Humane Society of the United States. As a result of this wonderful team up, we have the amazing Michelle Riley as one of our incredibly prestigious judges. Michelle is the Director of Photography for The HSUS and has been there for nearly ten years. Michelle is an incredible photographer in her own right who has travelled all over the world documenting animal welfare and environmental issues. Not only can Michelle take amazing photographs she is also a PhotoPreneur, ha, new word, heard it here first. She has built The HSUS Photo Team from the ground up which now manages over 250 professional photo shoots per year, created an incredible Photographer Directory with a massive network of 1,000 photographers from all over the world, and launched the organisation’s first ever digital photo library. She is a veritable creative machine, ladies and gents and we are lucky to have her on board and hope we can glean, just a speck of her brilliance. She is also undergoing an intensive training course so she can understand Tom’s very strange sense of humour – Paul’s is of course, perfect. Or simple.
You can find contact Michelle here: [email protected]