ASPIRING photographers have had their efforts recognised by snapping up prizes in a photographic competition.

Two photographers from Colchester won awards in the Essex Photography Prize.

The competition, organised by Blue Sky Printing, was launched this year and received more than 700 entries.

With eight categories, five finalists from each were announced before the winners revealed at an awards evening.

Cole Watkins, from Westcliff, won the overall prize for his entry in the Fashion and Commercial sector, and there were two winners from Colchester.

Gig - Jon’s winning entry from a gig at the Colchester Art’s Centre

Gig - Jon’s winning entry from a gig at the Colchester Art’s Centre


Jonathan Dadds, a 33-year-old software writer, won the Local Area category for Colchester. 

Taking photos at music gigs, Jon entered his photo of a band called Sleep Token, taken at the Colchester Arts Centre.

The music lover hoped he had a chance of winning, but really wanted to have his work seen by others.

He said: “It was just a nice opportunity to have others judge your work, I did it mostly for those opinions but it was really nice to win.”

The other Colchester winner was Lina Bernotaite in the Still Life category.

The 37-year-old administrator and mother is studying photography at an adult learning centre.

Already a lover of still life photography, Lina’s photo comes from her course.

“It was a piece of homework, where we had a task to photo cutlery,” she said.

“We had to be creative, I was just playing around with lights and shadows, it turned out great.”

Other winners included Kevin Weston, from Witham, who also won a Local Area award and was a finalist in the Landscape group.

Each category’s five finalists had their photography printed professionally by Blue Sky Printing and proudly displayed in a touring exhibition.

The full list of winners around Essex can be found on the Essex Photography Prize Facebook page.