"Photography is about how you see the world. You have to have faith in yourself" - Reflections from LPOTY winners

As part of our anniversary celebrations, we're looking back at the last 15 years of LPOTY. Here, we caught up with previous winners Andy Farrer and Mark Littlejohn to find out how the awards impacted them.
Andy Farrer 2015 1
Sept 22

Andy Farrer, Winner 2015

Andy Farrer 2015 1

Bat's Head, taken in Dorset

"Since being a part of the LPOTY judging panel for the last two years, I feel more humbled and grateful than ever for my 2015 win. To see the process from both sides has really made me appreciate what an achievement it was to have my image selected from the other entries.

I will never forget the phone-call from Charlie to tell me I had won LPOTY back in 2015. It’s fair to say I did have to check my call history to make sure I hadn’t dreamt the whole thing up! It was a huge boost to my confidence and career and has allowed me to continue on my creative journey."

Andy Farrer

Andy Farrer Headshot
Mark Littlejohn 2014

A Beginning and an End, taken in Glencoe, Scotland

"I can recall the phone call from Charlie Waite telling me I’d won the UK Landscape Photographer of the Year competition like it was yesterday. And yet it was eight years ago!

I’d only been taking photographs for four years when I won. I’d come to photography comparatively late in life. It took me a long time to find something I could actually do.

In my first year two images received judges commendations. I didn’t think anything of it. I was just doing my own thing. I didn’t really think about what anyone thought of my images. And that’s the key. You can’t sit there and try and second guess a judge. You have to be yourself. Submit the images that mean something to you.

Photography is about how you see the world. You have to have faith in yourself. Whilst its nice if other people like your images, ultimately you only have to please one person.

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When I won I was actually beset by doubt for a while. I had a title. The UK Landscape Photographer of the Year 2014. Surely everything I posted online had to be of a certain standard. What if I didn’t reach that standard? My winning image wasn’t one of my more straight forward representational landscapes. It received a lot of praise, but it also received a lot of criticism. Which in turn led to a huge amount of support from other people within the photographic community.

Landscape photographers tend to be compassionate people. They support their friends. As much as anything, winning the 2014 competition also introduced me to a wider group of these people. And they’re lovely. We are part of a lovely community. Being part of that community means as much as winning any competition. But I also think that the competition plays a huge role within the UK landscape photography ‘scene’. It's common ground for a lot of us. Its something we talk about. We all have different favourites, images that make us go wow.

Each year there is that familiar anticipation as it rolls around again. Who has won? What does the winning image look like? The competition is only fifteen years old but heres to the next fifteen. And the fifteen after that."

Mark Littlejohn

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