Talented equine and pet photographer, Karen Benett, was awarded the prestigious Photographer of the Year 2020 Open Award for print photography. More than 250 entries from across the world competed over 24 categories, but it was Karen’s print, Untamed Thoughts, that won the judges over.
Karen was immersed in the equine world from a young age, having grown up near Lambourn. She enjoyed her first ride as an amateur jockey at Chepstow and went onto to ride at Ascot’s 1979 ladies’ race. Her interest in photography has only grown since then, as she’s used her understanding of animals and endless patience to become a full-time professional photographer.
Such a characterful image – so tricky to capture in animals – demonstrates Karen’s prowess behind the camera. The judges scored the photo in their exceptional category, awarding it a massive 95/100. They also noted that the shot was captured during winter, with the horse’s winter coat and tricky lighting notoriously difficult to work with.
Following her win, Karen said: “This is such a respected award to win. The standard of all the entrants was incredibly high, which is why winning means so much and will help me develop further as a photographer. I’m looking forward to displaying the award in my studio!”
Karen’s a frequent flyer with The Societies of Photographers’ monthly competitions, winning a whole host of other digital awards. She’s been described as having a ‘way with animals’ and effectively capturing the emotions between people and their pets.