A professional photographer who honed his skills in West Suffolk has had his image of a red deer stag ‘highly commended’ in the prestigious British Wildlife Photography Awards.
Kevin Sawford, a former Midlenhall Upper School pupil, moved to Norfolk in April after having lived in Barrow for 20 years.
The 45-year-old will ‘point his camera at most things’ but says his real passion lies with capturing ‘the natural world’ because he enjoys the challenge of ‘getting all the combinations right’ between the animals and their surroundings.
He credits his father’s previous job as a countryside officer with developing his interest in photography at a young age and says some of his favourite shots have been taken in the Bradfield Woods and Lackford Lakes areas.
His ‘highly commended’ image of a red deer at dawn, taken during the rut last October, will be exhibited tonight as part of the BWPA award ceremony being hosted by naturalist and television presenter Chris Packham at the Mall Galleries, in London.
It is the first time a photograph of Kevin’s has received an award in the BWPA, despite his images having made the finals in previous years.
“I’ve had a few successes in other competitions but not as big as this competition, so I was very happy to be put alongside some of the UK’s finest photographers,” he said.
“It’s recognition that I’m heading in the right direction,” he added.
Kevin is a regular visitor to Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s visitor centre at Lackford Lakes and teaches the conservation charity’s Wildlearning courses in wildlife photography.
He will also be one of the judges in the trust’s photography competition this year.
Competition organiser Michael Strand said: “This year we are encouraging people to enter their own snaps of friends and family out and about in Suffolk’s countryside or in their own garden for our two new categories – wild child showing people engaged with nature and selfies in nature. It’s a good chance to immerse yourself in the wild beauty of Suffolk.
“The competition is open to everyone. Our judges will agree the two best photographs for each of the nine categories and the overall winner will be decided by an online public vote in December.”
The closing date for entries is November 9, with a maximum of three photographs permitted in each category.
Categories include: young photographer – British wildlife; Suffolk Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve; wild child – people engaged with nature; living garden; selfies in nature; East Anglian bird; East Anglian mammal, reptile or amphibian; East Anglian invertebrate and East Anglian plant or fungi.
For more details on the competition rules, prizes, categories and how to enter, visit www.suffolkwildlifetrust.org/photocomp2014 or call Suffolk Wildlife Trust on 01473 890089.
To find out more about Kevin and his work, visit www.kevinsawford.com or search ‘Kevin Sawford Photography’ on Facebook.
His images have been published around the world - in magazines, calendars, books, even a stamp - and a number of his prints and cards are available at Forelock and Load in Church Road, Barrow.