Daily/Sunday Photographer of the year: Spotlight on shortlisted talent

Posted on: September 3, 2021 by admin

News, sports and features pictures used in a daily newspaper are eligible. Judges will look for versatility, technical skill and the ability to capture the picture that matters. The mood of an interview, subject or feature needs to come across strongly.


Colm O’Reilly, Sunday Life

All fired up
Colm O’Reilly

Colm is a photographer who captures the moment to best illustrate a story. The three photographs he chose to enter are evidence of this. 

The featured photo, ‘All fired up’,  illustrates the annual Twelfth of July parades which had been cancelled by the Orange Order due to Covid-19. Public health authorities had asked people not to gather for any marches or for the traditional bonfires held at midnight the night before. The editor decided to push back the paper’s deadline in the hope of getting a picture to show how the regulations were being defied. The image above captures how members of the public who attended these bonfires were quite literally playing with fire. The photo was used in a page one splash.

What the judges said:

“Colm’s photo of the bonfires in Northern Ireland balanced the light well to create a silhouette effect while letting enough light through in the foreground to show up the union jack. Colm’s images are all technically and creatively strong.” 



Kevin Scott, Belfast Telegraph

Tura Artura giving a speech at BLM protest
Kevin Scott

Kevin works on the premise that he is the eyes and ears of the people, bringing the most shocking, important and exclusive stories to homes around the country; the images Kevin entered not only set the news agenda but complemented the associated articles and helped draw attention to the important journalistic stories that were sneaking under the radar alongside the pandemic.

The featured photo, taken on June 3 2020, shows hundreds who took to the streets of Belfast for a BLM protest. This image of Tura Artura giving a speech with the backdrop of the historic City Hall went on to be used on the front page of the paper following a police review into BLM protests in December.

What the judges said:

“Kevin showed how important being in the right place at the right time is, and why it’s a skill upcoming photographers must hone. His submission showed really strong images with excellent composition. The righteous anger which drove the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020 comes across fully in this featured shot”



Mhairi Edwards, The Courier/Evening Telegraph

During her short career Mhairi Edwards has continued to enhance her photography techniques and expand her photojournalism skills. Mhairi’s empathy and compassion enable her to expertly capture moments as well as bring her individual style to every job she covers. Mhairi gets under the skin of her subject allowing readers to  feel their world.

The featured photo  shows a man inside the Phoenix bar sitting at the bar drinking  one last pint whilst listening to Sturgeon’s address on new restrictions to do with the pub/cafe/bar scene.

What the judges said:

“Mhairi’s photos show she is a strong image maker who connects with her subjects to get the best from them. She has shown she is able to capture intensely personal moments whilst maintaining creativity and expression in her work.” 


Sarah Caldecott, The Northern Echo

Right Royal collection

The 2020 lockdown was a challenging year for everyone, not knowing how it would change the way we lived and worked for the foreseeable future. However, although the way Sarah worked changed, she was out every day photographing something or someone.  Sarah learnt to abide by the new rules, keeping herself and her subjects safe by taking outside images using a long lens.

The featured photo, ‘Right Royal collection’ shows a Farmers wife hoping to win back the world record she once held for the biggest collection of royal memorabilia, 20 years after setting it.

What the judges said:

“Sarah cleverly used her photographic skills to document events which tell a story and convey a message. Great photos which will hold real value from a social history point of view. Sarah’s photo submissions are colourful, playful and striking.”


Tim Sturgess, Express & Star

Rail test track
Tim Sturgess

Two of Tim’s entries captured moments in time during our extraordinary year. One is touching, the other brings a smile to the face. In the first, a woman reaches  out to her mother during a lockdown Mother’s Day. In the second the Black Country’s ‘Yam Yam Elvis’ cheers people up during the coronavirus crisis with a performance in the street.

The featured image is an exclusive photo of the underground rail test track being created under the streets of the Black Country where Tim was born and bred. 

What the judges said:

“Tims submissions include three strong news images which all tell their own unique story. The fantastic and varied  photos show the best of British photography”


Tim Thursfield, Express & Star

BLM embrace
Tim Thursfield

Tim Thursfield has a habit of being in the right time at the right place to capture pictures that tell a story without words.

The featured photo, a poignant image of two Black Lives Matters protesters, was powerful and forms part of a great variety of shots that show his versatility as a photographer.

What the judges said: 

In an industry which is ever changing, Tim has shown that he can diversify his skills to capture really strong images. His Black Lives Matter photo showcases an emotional moment in the heart of the movement – the look on the subject’s face is very striking.”