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Capturing the Spirit of Wild Deer

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Article by:
Laura McMahon, Marketing Manager, British Deer Society

Capturing the Spirit of Wild Deer: BDS Photographer of the Year

Every year, the British Deer Society (BDS) hosts an exclusive photographic competition dedicated to its passionate members. A captivating blend of artistic expression and wildlife appreciation, the BDS Photographer of the Year Competition is an opportunity for members to capture the spirit and beauty of wild deer across the British landscape.

Revitalising Tradition:

As we eagerly anticipate this year’s submissions, we reflect on the past and celebrate the rich tapestry of images that our talented members have contributed over the years. Recognising the need to elevate their work even further, we embarked on a refreshing journey to enhance the competition experience, offering members more opportunities to express their love for these amazing creatures.

The Heart of BDS:

At the core of the BDS lies a deep passion for wild deer and an unyielding dedication to their well-being. The annual BDS Photographer of the Year Competition has evolved into a celebration, inviting photographers to create visual narratives that authentically capture the essence of wild deer – a theme echoed in this year’s competition title, “Capturing the Spirit of Wild Deer: BDS Photographer of the Year.”

A Unique Celebration:

More than just a contest, this competition is a call for photographers to become storytellers, using their lens to foster empathy and understanding. Through the powerful language of visuals, participants contribute to a shared responsibility for the welfare of these remarkable animals, emphasising that pictures are indeed worth a thousand words.

Supporting the Cause:

The captivating images from this competition transcend mere aesthetics; they become crucial assets supporting the BDS’s charity initiatives. Winning photographs could earn a coveted spot in the annual BDS charity calendar, serving as ambassadors for deer welfare.

Embracing Change with New Categories:

This year, we proudly introduce three new categories, inviting members to explore and showcase their favourite themes:

  1. Deer Through the Year: capture the changing seasons and moods of wild deer throughout the year.
  2. A Home For Deer: showcases the diverse and beautiful habitats that wild deer call home.
  3. Deer in Action: freeze a moment of dynamic movement and energy in the lives of wild deer.

Expanded Opportunities:

Members can now submit up to three images per category, providing more chances for recognition and the opportunity to delve into their favourite themes. Awards include First, Second, and Third places, along with Highly Commended and Commended titles. The ultimate honour, the title of BDS Photographer of the Year, awaits the overall winner.

Judging Excellence:

Our esteemed panel of judges will evaluate entries based on adherence to the theme, composition, creativity, technical excellence, emotional impact, and relevance to the BDS mission of promoting the welfare and understanding of wild deer.

Competition Details:

This year’s competition includes familiar rules to past entrants but also introduces some updates, such as the exclusion of AI-generated images. We strongly encourage members to review the competition terms and conditions before entering the competition.

Open exclusively to BDS members, submissions will be accepted until midnight on 30th April 2024.

Prizes and Recognition:

Beyond the sheer joy of participation, the competition offers tangible rewards, including prizes for each category and special recognition for the overall winner. Winning entries will be showcased on the BDS website, social media platforms, and accompanied by certificates of achievement.

Embark on this visual journey into the heart of wild deer appreciation with us. The BDS Photographer of the Year is more than a competition: it’s an invitation to share your profound love for these magnificent creatures and contribute to their well-being.

Can you Capture the Spirit of wild deer? Don’t delay enter before 30th April 2024


The British Deer Society is a charity working to improve awareness and understanding about deer, deer welfare and deer management. You can add your voice today by:

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