A curious pet dog called Coco has unwittingly put her owner in the running for a top photography award – after gatecrashing a photo shoot.
University of Northampton photographic student, Aurélie Walder, was snapping images of a water-filled jug for a still life assignment when her inquisitive chihuahua decided to get in on the act.
Giving in to Coco’s desire to investigate, Aurélie, popped the pup on the table and decided to carry on shooting.
“Coco kept on looking at me and wanted to be involved,” said Aurélie. “She was so persistent that I gave in and thought ‘I’ll do something with you’.
“She loves dog biscuits, so I thought I drop one in the water and see what happens – and I got the most amazing result with my very first shot.
"I expected Coco would close her eyes as she put her head in the water, but she kept them open, which really makes the shot something special. I also love the way the water and glass distorts her body. Coco’s something special, and I just love this photograph.”
The image, below, caught the attention of the University’s Head of Photography, Richard Whitehead, who urged Aurélie to enter it into the Association of Photographers (AOP) Student Awards.
AOP judges have also been taken by the photo, shortlisting it for the Things category.
Richard said: “The AOPs are the most prestigious student photography awards going and draws thousands of entries from hundreds of universities and colleges.
“The competition is incredibly tough, so to get through to the final shortlist for an award is a huge achievement.”
Aurélie said: “I knew it was a good shot, but I couldn’t believe it when I was contacted by AOP to let me know I was a finalist.
“I was actually in a shop with some friends and I think I screamed – and it’s still not sunk in because it’s such a big deal.”
Aurélie, who is originally from Switzerland, will find out if she has won the award at a glittering ceremony in London, in June, shortly before she graduates.
She said: “I want to be a wildlife photographer, and this nomination has added so much to my portfolio. After graduation, I’m hoping to stay in the UK and pursue my career – and I plan to be reunited with Coco by flying her over because she’s currently living overseas with my mum.”