Pretty as a pic­ture...and worth his weight in gold...

POODLE TED WINS OWNER £5,000 PRIZE IN PHOTO COM­PE­TI­TION

The Chronicle - - News - By LISA HUTCHIN­SON Re­porter lisa.hutchin­son@reach­plc.com @lisachron

TED the minia­ture poodle has proved to be a man’s best friend af­ter win­ning his owner £5,000 in a top In­sta­gram photo com­pe­ti­tion.

Keen pho­tog­ra­pher Dar­ren Hall has taken four years to get the per­fect ac­tion shot of his furry friend and even­tu­ally caught him in midair at Al­n­mouth in Northum­ber­land.

Now the 41-year-old has scooped the pres­ti­gious prize in the in­au­gu­ral Pho­to­box In­sta­gram Pho­tog­ra­phy Awards and is treat­ing Ted to a week­end in the Lake District to cel­e­brate.

Dar­ren, of Gos­forth, New­cas­tle, said: “I’ve been in­ter­ested in dog pho­tog­ra­phy for four years since I ac­ci­den­tally got a blurry photo of Ted in mid-air and since then I’ve been on a mis­sion to get the per­fect ac­tion shot.

“I love dogs, Ted goes ev­ery­where with me.

“He comes to work and Ted is also well­known around pubs in New­cas­tle from our walks. “The goal with my pho­tog­ra­phy is to cap­ture the hid­den mo­ments we miss with the naked eye and cre­ate spe­cial images that show the per­son­al­ity and spirit of our dogs. I like to pho­to­graph dogs out­doors, do­ing what they love best and all the chaos that comes with that.

“Ted is an ab­so­lute lu­natic and is con­stantly cre­at­ing mo­ments of may­hem but I’m lucky be­cause I have the best model.”

Ted, whose full name is Ed­ward Mon­tague, has been by Dar­ren’s side since be­ing a pup six years ago.

Dar­ren, who is en­gaged to Caro­line Greener, 42, added: “I was over­all win­ner at the Pho­to­box In­sta­gram Awards beat­ing over 180,000 en­tries and claim­ing the £5,000

The goal is to cap­ture the hid­den mo­ments we miss with the naked eye and cre­ate spe­cial images Dar­ren Hall

prize. I found out about my suc­cess at an awards show in Lon­don on the 3rd of Oc­to­ber.

“I also re­ceived a judges’ spe­cial men­tion from the Ken­nel Club two days later at an awards show at the Ken­nel Club head quar­ters in May­fair.”

But it was touch and go whether Dar­ren was go­ing to turn up at the awards as Ted was ill only days be­fore and had to be rushed to the vets.

“The week of the awards was the best and worst week of my life. Ted took se­ri­ously ill on the Sun­day be­fore the awards and I rushed him to an emer­gency vets in Gos­forth.

“He was pass­ing blood and was hos­pi­talised and placed on a drip.” said Dar­ren.

“For the next two days I couldn’t eat or sleep for fear of los­ing my best friend.

“But af­ter his treat­ment he started to make a re­cov­ery and by Tues­day he was well on his way to be­ing nor­mal Ted again.

“I was go­ing to can­cel at­tend­ing the awards show but due to his up­turn in health I de­cided to go.

“I did not ex­pect to win but thought it was a great hon­our to be short­listed due to the high stan­dard of the pho­tog­ra­phy in the com­pe­ti­tion. The feel­ing of Ted re­turn­ing to full health com­bined with win­ning such a mas­sive com­pe­ti­tion was too much to take and it’s hard to de­scribe the feel­ing when they an­nounced me as the over­all win­ner.

“Two days later I re­turned to Lon­don for the dog pho­tog­ra­pher of the year awards at the Ken­nel Club where I got a spe­cial men­tion, an­other great hon­our as this is the largest dog pho­tog­ra­phy com­pe­ti­tion in the world.

“It was a week that started as the worst week of my life and ended as the best.”

The Pho­to­box In­sta­gram Pho­tog­ra­phy Awards are to cel­e­brate the best pho­to­graphs posted on the pop­u­lar photo shar­ing app In­sta­gram in the last 12 months.

Win­ners in cat­e­gories in­clud­ing fam­ily, sport and travel won £500. The other win­ning pic­tures in­clude one of a drone shot of a speed­boat do­ing dough­nuts.

More win­ners in­cluded a woman sport­ing blue face-paint at the Zin­neke Pa­rade and the twisted branches of a tree at a UN­ESCO World Her­itage site in the Madeira Is­lands. Af­ter his suc­cess, sound en­gi­neer Dar­ren is now set­ting up his own dog pho­tog­ra­phy busi­ness to cap­ture other peo­ple’s pets in pho­to­graphs and video.

Dar­ren added: “Since my re­cent suc­cess I have been in­spired to set up a dog pho­tog­ra­phy busi­ness to of­fer oth­ers the chance to get unique images of their dogs just like I have of Ted.

“I’m nam­ing this ven­ture ‘Wig­gle Butt’ in­spired by the funky strut of Ed­ward Mon­tague, aka Ted the Poodle.”

More pho­tos at www.wig­gle­butt photo.com or In­sta­gram @dar­ren williamhall

Keen pho­tog­ra­pher Dar­ren Hall, 41, with minia­ture poodle Ted

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