A PHOTOGRAPHER from Rayleigh has been named runner up in a worldwide competition for image of the year.

Rayleigh based photographer Sarah Smith has come runner up for her photo of her grandmother in the Guild of Photographers’ annual image of the year awards.

The 36-year-old specialises in photos of newborns, but it was a photo of her grandma Iris Fairman blowing a raspberry that caught the attention of the guild this year.

Ms Smith said: “I am absolutely over the moon to have been awarded runner up overall for the image of the year 2020, from more than 13,500 images.

“Everyone fell in love with the image of my nan and I think it symbolises so much, we all feel a little like she did that day sometimes.”

The latest achievement comes right after another string of successes.

In December 2018, her image of two children on a bench with wonderful facial expressions was in the running for the same award.

In February last year, she was inducted as a member of the Photographer’s Bar and recognised as one of the top ten international photographers working today.

Ms Smith has also won more awards this year for her work with newborn photography.

She added: “I am also totally overwhelmed to have won Top Ten International Maternity, Newborn and Baby photographer 2020 and The Photographers Bar in Maternity, Newborn and Baby photography both for the second year in a row.

“I can’t tell you how much these awards mean and I am so excited to present this level of imagery to my clients.

“I adore my job and feel so privileged to have been able to develop my business into the position it is in now.

“I am absolutely gobsmacked, I was nearly in tears on the night.

The awards were presented in Crewe Hall in Cheshire.

For more information visit www.sarahsmithphotography.co.uk.