LONDON, UK - The Kennel Club, the United Kingdom’s largest organization dedicated to protecting and promoting the health and welfare of all dogs, announced the winners of the 2018 Dog Photographer of the Year competition.
Sonya Kolb, owner of Good Doggy Photography based in Holmdel NJ, took First Place in the Rescue Dogs and Dog Charities category for her photo of Cooper, a rescue dog caught in a peaceful moment with his head poised on his paws, beneath his pet parents’ clasped hands.
Each year, The Kennel Club receives around 10,000 contest entries from 70 different countries. It is considered the largest canine photography competition in the world.
Exhibition of the winning images is being held at The Kennel Club Art Gallery in London through October 5, 2018. They can also be viewed online by visiting www.dogphotographeroftheyear.org.uk.
An awards ceremony is slated for Friday, October 5th, in a formal celebration at The Kennel Club’s London headquarters. Kolb will be in attendance for the ceremony.
“I’m thrilled to have won this particular category because it includes a £500 donation from The Kennel Club Charitable Trust, which will go to my favorite dog charity, the Monmouth County SPCA.” Kolb has been taking photos for area rescue organizations for many years, as part of her community involvement. It is the first time the trust has made this donation to a charity outside the United Kingdom.
“To me, the photo of Cooper reveals what is so important in life – our emotional connections with others,” Kolb explains. “Dogs shape our lives and capture our hearts with their unconditional love and support.”
Said Monmouth County SPCA Executive Director Ross Licitra, “We are so grateful to have been chosen as the recipient of the donation. Sonya is a very gifted photographer and avid supporter of animal rescue and the Monmouth County SPCA. This award comes well-deserved!”
Kolb became fascinated with photography at a young age while playing with her father’s Minolta cameras. After working in the corporate world of textiles and design for over 20 years, she left a successful career to forge a new path that would combine her passion for photography and love of animals. She founded Good Doggy Photography in 2011 and now travels just about anywhere for a good photo.
“I love creating images that spread happiness and connect us heart to heart, hand to paw, with our most positive emotions. I’ve always struggled to communicate just how much my dog means to me. I now realize that through my photography I can preserve and showcase just how I feel.”
A note from Cooper’s owners:
“Cooper was rescued from The FairyDog Mother Rescue in Rhode Island. We originally adopted another dog (his name was Cooper) from a rescue in Tennessee and one week before we were supposed to pick him up he got very sick with parvovirus and passed away :( A few weeks later my sister called and told me that she found a dog from another rescue online and we should definitely look into adopting him. Once we saw him we just fell in love and adopted him within a few days. He was also rescued from a shelter in Tennessee. He became our Cooper # 2 (we named him Cooper in honor of the first Cooper we adopted). He is such a loving and kind dog and very protective of our daughter. We could not picture our life without Cooper or as we call him ‘The Coop’.”
- Krystina and Mike, Middletown NJ
Sonya Kolb/Good Doggy Photography
Good Doggy Photography specializes in custom pet photography sessions – mainly on location and often including family members – and offers custom framing, artistic substrates, photo albums and interior design products. Areas served include Middletown, Red Bank, Colts Neck, Bernardsville, Summit, Spring Lake, Basking Ridge, Asbury Park and Holmdel, as well as major cities like Philadelphia and Manhattan.