International acclaim for Leyland photographer Karen

Leyland photographer Karen Riches has been named International Pet Photographer of the Year and one of the top 10 Baby and Toddler Photographers of the Year.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 7:00 am

The mum-of-two, who has a studio called Red Frog Photography in Worden Park, claimed the accolades after entering The Guild of Photographers’ Image of the Month competition throughout 2020, achieving the overall highest score out of 16,000 entrants.

Karen, 47, said she was “pretty stunned” by the news, adding: “I love photography and always strive to create the best images I can for my customers. The Guild of Photographers has fueled my creativity. They demand very high standards in their competition and entering drives forward the standard of the images I create, in order to succeed.”

Karen became a photographer in 2008 after leaving her job as head of history at a school in Upholland to pursue her dream, and puts her success down to being “really, really patient”.

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Karen says she loves to capture expressions

She said: “I love capturing the expressions pets and children make, and creating a really lovely experience for my customers.”

Steven and Lesley Thirsk, directors of the Guild, said: it was an “extraordinary achievement”.

Karen's tips for taking a great pet photo:

- Get to their level

Karen works from a studio in Worden Park, Leyland

- Do what it takes to get their attention

- Make sure there's nothing distracting in the photo

- Make it a relaxed and enjoyable experience

Karen's pet pictures beat competition from 16,000 other monthly entrants to the Guild competition
Karen believes patience is the key to her success
Karen switched careers in 2008, saying it was "the best thing ever"
Karen sometimes uses treats and funny noises to get an animal's attention
Karen said she was "pretty stunned" to get the award