It’s the most popular photography competition in the world—because the winning photos are some the funniest moments of mirth on Earth.
Some of the most famous photographers from 85 countries submitted their most spontaneous snaps, capturing the amusing side of nature, in a bid to win the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.
The contest was founded in 2015 by Paul Joynson-Hicks and Tom Sullam, both professional photographers and passionate conservationists who wanted create a competition that focused on the lighter, humorous side of wildlife photography.
The online competition is free to enter, yet both money and awareness are raised for a charity partner each year—in 2022, the fantastic Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN)—with 10% of net revenue donated.
The overall winner of this year’s competition, which saw 5,000 incredible entries, is Jennifer Hadley, for her perfectly timed photograph of a lion cub losing its grip on a tree trunk entitled ‘Not so cat-like reflexes.’
The image was captured in the Serengeti, when Jennifer managed to capture the exact moment a young 3-month-old cub attempted to descend from a tree, and it didn’t go so well. She had already positioned her camera, then the unexpected happened.
“I think part of what makes this contest great is that most of these photos probably happen by complete accident and that was certainly the case with the lion cub falling out of the tree,” she explained. “How often do cats fall out of trees?”
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“It was probably his first time ever in a tree and he decided to just go for it. Happily, as cats do, he righted himself just in time.”
As the 2022 Comedy Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Jennifer won an African safari trip to Kenya. She also won the Affinity Photo Award and People’s Choice Award for her charming shot of two penguins (pictured above).
“I really love this photo contest because it’s just so different from anything else and really shows off the personalities of the animals,” says Jennifer.
The Creatures of the Air Category Award was won by Jean Jacques Alcalay with ‘Misleading African Viewpoints’, which shows a hippo looking like he’s about to scoff a great blue heron whole.
The bird seems completely oblivious—maybe that is because he knows that, in fact, the hippo is actually having a yawn.
“With so much going on in the world, we could all use a bumper dose of fun and laughter and this year’s finalists have definitely delivered that,” said Sullam in a press release.
Sullam summed it up perfectly: “When you see these amazing photographs, like the wallaby at sunset—seemingly about to launch another wallaby into space—it makes you smile and wonder at the incredible animals that are on this earth with us.”
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SEND These Adorable Moments of Nature to Your Flock by Sharing on Social Media… AND, Check out the 2021 winning photos: From Cheeky Bears to Goofy Gophers, See the Fun Finalists of the Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards