The Nottingham Children’s Portrait of the Year 2018

This summer, we embarked upon a project to capture creative portraits of local children for their families whilst raising money for the Big Appeal for Nottingham Children’s Hospital. We challenged ourselves by offering four different portrait styles for families to choose between to suit the age of the children, their style and their homes:


  • Heroic portraits celebrating their inner superhero with costumes, cinematic backdrops and theatrical props.
  • Enchanted portraits with a magical feel using a range of beautiful fairy and elf costumes and a fairytale set.
  • Floral portraits with creative styling, elegant poses and soft lighting capturing feminine, ethereal images.
  • Vintage portraits embracing the past with vintage clothes and accessories with a timeless and editorial feel.


We were thrilled by the number of entries we received from clients old and new and it was such good fun getting creative in the studio all through the summer. The entry images were chosen by the participants and their parents, here’s a slideshow of the portraits they chose:



We were honoured for the competition to be judged by Panikos Hajistilly; UK Master Photographer of the Year 2017 and Master Craftsman with The Guild of Photographers. He said “I was delighted to be asked to judge The Nottingham Childrens’ Portrait of the Year Awards. The standard of portraiture from Photo Nottingham is consistently high and the entries were all lovely. However it was the soft tones, mysterious expression and the way I was drawn to her eyes that made this portrait the clear winner.”



The Nottingham Children’s Portrait of the Year featured Katie (16 years old from Nottingham) who had never been photographed in the studio before and said “I was so nervous before my photoshoot as I didn’t know what was expected of me, but my photographer Marija made it really easy and fun. Within 5 minutes I began to enjoy myself and afterwards I thought I would definitely do this again.”


Katie was delighted with her £500 cash prize and family day out in Nottingham, but more than that she was so surprised and thrilled that the judge chose her photo. “I loved the photo but I had no idea it would win the competition. It’s weird looking at that photo as I love it, but in some ways it doesn’t feel like it’s me. I didn’t know I could look like that!


Her proud mum Steph booked the shoot after her friend shared the competition on social media “The amazing team at Nottingham Children’s Hospital saved Katie’s life in 2015; so I jumped at the opportunity to donate to the Big Appeal when I saw the competition on Facebook. As it turned out, the photoshoot was a really positive way to celebrate how far Katie’s come in these past two years and our favourite portrait hangs in pride of place at home. We’ve had so many compliments from friends and family about the Alumini panel on our wall, there’s something special in her eyes and they follow you around the room.”



In total we raised a fabulous £1,040 for the Big Appeal which is Nottingham Children’s Hospital’s latest project to raise £4million over four years to transform their family accommodation, develop their radiology department and improve their imaging facilities. For more information or to donate to the appeal, take a look at their website:


Steph spoke with such warmth and admiration for the Nottingham Children’s Hospital “Everyone was so wonderful and helpful from the consultant to the housekeeper. I shall be eternally grateful for what they did for my family.” Katie was just 13 years old at the time and remembers what a difference the little things made to her experience “It was very scary being in hospital, but the playworkers ensured I had activities e.g. painting, crafts and use of a laptop to help me relax. Being creative really helped me to feel more at home.”


Thank you to everyone who helped us by booking a photoshoot, posing for the camera or spreading the word online and at the school gates! I know that every penny of your donations will make a difference to the lives of young patients from across the Midlands and their loved ones by their side.


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