Yarraville photographer Belinda Richards couldn’t be happier to see her career going to the dogs.

A full-time pet photographer known for her talents in extracting human-like expressions from canine companions, Ms Richards has edged out stiff competition to be crowned with the prestigious title of Australian Emerging Photographer of the year in the Australian Institutes Professional Photography Awards.

Her humorous and quirky images of dogs caught the eye of the judges, who awarded a gold medal to her image Catastrophe.

 

ONE OF THE PORTRAITS THAT HELPED RICHARDS COLLECT THE ACCOLADE. PHOTO BY BELINDA RICHARDS

Master photographer and judge Gee Greenslade said she saw more than just a dog reading a newspaper.

“Notice the gender of the felines, notice the gender of the dogs, we are talking about modern day feminism and we are doing it with the analogy of dogs and cats,” Greenslade said.

Richards said the win, announced at a gala dinner at the Plaza Ballroom, came as a complete surprise.

“I was overwhelmed to be honest, it wasn’t at all expected,” she said.

PHOTO BY BELINDA RICHARDS

Richards has a background in animal welfare and has been working with dogs in one form or another for about 20 years.

When she took up photography close to her 30th birthday, she was drawn to combine her new passion with her old, leading to the creation of her pet photography studio Frog Dog Studios.

“When I was about 20 years old I decided to start my own dog grooming business,” she said.

“I started doing photography about eight years ago. The experience I have working with dogs means I understand their behaviour.”