"Winning has given me confidence to keep doing what I love" – Reflections from 15 years of LPOTY

As part of our anniversary celebrations, we're looking back at the last 15 years of LPOTY. Here, we caught up with previous winners to find out how the awards impacted them. Take a look at some of the winning images and hear from the photographers behind the camera.
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May 22

Mara Leite, Winner 2021

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Morning at Countryside, taken in Halnaker, West Sussex

"It was a great honour to win the UK Landscape Photographer of the Year! Overall, the award has sparked interest in my work and helped me reach a broader audience. The exposure gave me more opportunities, such as gallery exhibitions and invitations to photograph unique places. Most importantly, being recognised by the UK photographic community has given me more confidence to continue pursuing my photographic goals and keep doing what I love."

Mara Leite

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Robert Fulton, Winner 2011

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Winter Field taken in Stirlingshire.

"One Saturday in the Autumn of 2011, I received a phone call from Charlie Waite to inform me that I had won LPOTY. Once I calmed down we went on to discuss possible outcomes that I might experience, and in particular he said that this could have a 'life changing effect' on me and on reflection I'm sure it has been.

Shortly after being given the good news about my win, I received some bad, when I was I was told I had bowel cancer and I required surgery. This was just about the time that there was mass publicity about me winning LPOTY. The good thing about the timing was that I was able to concentrate on the positive things going on. The operation was very successful and I did not require any further treatment and I was fit to travel to the exhibition in the National Theatre in London.

Regarding the photographic aspects of winning LPOTY, for many years I had a strong desire to visit Yellowstone in winter and thanks to the generous £10,000 prize money, I have been able to fulfil that ambition along with visits to the Lofoten Islands. I was happy with the images of Yellowstone so I entered them into some exhibitions at home and abroad and was fortunate enough to win the main award in Qatar and was invited to the presentation in Doha."

Robert Fulton

Jon Gibbs, Winner 2007

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Storm Over Scroby Sands Wind Farm, taken in Great Yarmouth

"Put simply, winning LPOTY gave me the confidence to push on with my photography and eventually make it my job. Just over a year after winning LPOTY I had opened a gallery in North Norfolk with my business partner and had also started to photograph scenes for three photographic books depicting my local area.

It certainly did bring some big changes to my life and considering this was before the big onset of social media I am grateful for the opportunities it gave me."

Jon Gibbs

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Chris Frost, Winner 2020

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Woolland Woods, taken in Dorset

"Winning the LPOTY competition in 2020 was a huge personal achievement and one that opened the door to many unique and exciting opportunities, allowing me to expand beyond my comfort zone and develop the confidence to explore my creativity, both personally and photographically. This acknowledgment for an image that Charlie Waite described as ‘secretive and mysterious’ encouraged me to invest time in exploring further, seeking out woodland locations off the beaten track in an ongoing quest to discover more hidden gems.

LPOTY has also provided a level of exposure that I’ll always be thankful for, allowing me to meet, interact and hopefully in some cases, inspire photographers from around the globe."

Chris Frost

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Benjamin Graham, Winner 2017

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Diminutive Dune, taken in West Wittering

"Disbelief, shock and jubilation spring to mind as three words I might deploy to attempt to describe a frankly indescribable experience. Becoming the 11th UK Landscape Photographer of the Year is right up there (with the birth of my children and my first paroxysmal heart attack…) as one of the most momentous events in my life. I’m joking, obviously. Being awarded overall winner of LPOTY is THE most momentous."

Bejamin Graham

Matthew Cattell, Winner 2016

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Starling Vortex, taken in Brighton

"Winning LPOTY in 2016 was a defining moment in my creative journey and took my photography down a different path. It gave me confidence to explore new concepts and ideas, resulting in a more personal, reflective approach to photography.

Starling murmurations are an inspiring spectacle to witness, and are intrinsic to Brighton’s seafront in the winter months. My winning image captures wildlife in its environment, and is an idea that I have continued to explore"

Matthew Cattell

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