The big winner of the 2022 Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards goes to Kenichi Morinaga for his photo of a white and ginger cat, sitting cheek to cheek on a fence and the two look like they’ve lost their minds.
Over 2,000 images entered this year’s competition, but only one was able to come out on top and receive a cash prize of £2,000 (approximately $2,150 / AU$3,300), £5,000 ($5,375 / AU$8,250) to donate to an animal charity of their choice, plus a bespoke trophy to take pride of place on the mantelpiece.
• 10 Pet Photography Tips for Taking Great Puppy Portraits at Home (opens in a new tab)
Japanese photographer and cat lover Kenichi Morinaga also received the award for Best Cat Photo. Kenichi’s love for feline photography began when he visited the small islands around Japan, which are home to many street cats, but it wasn’t until he got his own cat that his passion for them grew. really started.
“Suddenly I became fascinated with the antics of cats on the street and had to photograph them,” he says. “When I came back to Japan I kept looking for them, they really lifted my spirits, especially after the last two years of the pandemic – they’re so funny, even when they’re doing something serious.
“This amazing competition reminded me that such gestures from all animals are recognized as hilarious, cute and heartwarming – not only in Japan but all over the world.”
This year’s competition was the closest to date with only ten points separating the top six places. A total of seven different countries represented the winners of the category, making it one of the most international competitions.
José Baynon from Spain won first place in Best Dog, for his portrayal of his pooch Nilo playing with a garden hose. Radim Filpek took first place in the Horse category for a touching photo of a mare and foal, while a smoking alpaca taken by Stefan Brusius was the overall winner in the Other Creatures category.
Other notable winners include nine-year-old Freya Sharpe, who snapped a photo of a family cat, Jack, after getting stuck in a hedge; Marko Jovanovic received the People’s Choice Award for a photo of his dog leaping in the snow; and Dog with driver by Mehmet Aslan from Turkey won the Comedy Pet Team Favorite.