A WEDDING photographer from Flintshire has had an incredible year, topped off with international acclaim.

Andrew Baines, from Connah's Quay, has reached the final of the fiercely contested Guild of Photographers Image of the Year Competition.

The Guild is a highly respected UK based association for photographers, which has members from overseas as well. Each year it runs an online monthly photographic competition, judged by internationally respected judges, with awards given to the best entries.

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During 2023, the competition attracted more than 12,000 entries from the most talented of photographers.

It has recently been announced that from all the entries across the year, the Guild's Judges have selected no more than 10 images in various genres to go forward to the annual Image of the Year Final. Those selected really are the best of the best, and an image by Andrew is one of those selected as a finalist.

Guild director Lesley Thirsk said: "One of the Guild's aims is to drive standards and creativity amongst photographers. Our competition certainly does that, for the standard of the entries we see each month is quite staggering.

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"To have an image recognised by the Guild in the monthly competition is difficult enough, so to have an image selected as being one of the best in a category for the end of year final is without doubt an incredible achievement, and shows just how talented photographer, Andrew Baines is."

Andrew, of Andrew Baines Photography, added: "I really enjoy photography and spend a lot of time honing my skills. One way I do that is by taking part in the Guild of Photographers competition, which keeps pushing the bar for photography standards month after month.

"It's a fantastic motivator for me. Seeing the amazing images that get awards each month is super inspiring. Knowing how high those standards are and getting one of my images shortlisted among the final 10 in its category from all the submissions throughout the year is just so exciting!

"When I heard the news, I was so shocked and nearly burst into tears!"

Of the photo in question, Andrew said: "This particular image was taken at Carden Park and is one of my absolute favourites. I have it framed on my office wall.

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"During Jacquie and Steven's wedding day, I took a stroll to scout out locations for a sunset shoot after their wedding breakfast and spotted a life like deer statue upon a rise in the venues gardens.

"As the sun dropped in the sky it created the perfect backdrop for this silhouette. The bride and groom were blown away with the results when I showed them the back of my camera."

Andrew will be able to celebrate their achievement and find out if they are the overall winner at a spectacular awards gala evening on February 3, 2024.

Last month Andrew was also shortlisted in the wedding category at the British Photography Awards.

• To find out more about the Guild of Photographers and their competition visit their website www.photoguild.co.uk and to find out more about Andrew visit www.andrewbainesphotography.com