Spring Flower Photography Competition 2021

Our judges were overwhelmed by the quality of entries that we received for our competition and had a hard time choosing only nine to be our lucky winners. We think you’ll agree that those chosen capture the spirit and beauty of spring.

Our winners

Grand Prize Winner & Over 18 First Prize winner – Jocelyn Horsfall

Over 18 Second Prize Winner – Tammy Marlar

Over 18 Third Prize Winner – Eleanor Gaspar

Under 18 First Prize Winner – Ibrahim

Under 18 Second Prize Winner – Charlie

Under 18 Third Prize Winner – Delphine

Under 12 First Prize Winner – Kitty

Under 12 Second Prize Winner – Isabella

Under 12 Third Prize Winner – Isabella

This competition is kindly supported by:

The prizes*

There will be a 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes in each of the categories and one grand prize winner selected from the winners of each category.

Grand Prize: Canon EOS 2000 D Digital SLR camera

The Judges

Sarah Cheesbrough

Sarah is a London-based documentary and wildlife photographer who has worked all over the world. She has exhibited urban bee photographs with The Royal Parks and is author of the photographic book, In Buddha’s Garden. Recently, Sarah spent two years photographing London’s magical wildlife for her latest book, Wild Neighbours: Portraits of London’s Magnificent Creatures. Full of captivating and intimate images, Wild Neighbours came out during the Lockdown of Spring 2020 and was featured on BBC London News.

“When I was asked to give contestants some advice about shooting great flower images, I thought I should speak of the importance of composition, focus, light, saturation and the conscious use of depth of field but what I want to say is this, follow your hearts. After the year we have all had, take pictures that reflect how you feel when you see the exquisite beauty of Spring flowers heralding new hope after the cold and darkness of Winter. Have fun and I greatly look forward to looking through your work.”

Jess Snowball

Jess is the Garden’s tireless Glasshouse Manager and makes sure that all of our plants under glass stay as healthy as possible. She can often be seen misting the tropical corridor in the early morning before any visitors arrive. This exclusive access to our collection also means she can indulge her own photographic passions and that the Garden is always well stocked with beautiful shots of some of our rarest plants.

“Light is the number one for me, I’m obsessed! Observe and relish how our unique winter light is able to transform our landscapes and flora. Doesn’t matter what type of camera or phone you have – if you have the right light you will have the right shot. Enjoy!!”

Mary Ellen Taylor

Mary Ellen’s love of flora and fauna began in the Galapagos Islands and Andes where she lived for 2 decades before settling into London in 2003 to complete her diploma certificate in Botanical Painting at the English Gardening School in the Chelsea Physic Garden. Mary Ellen is now Chair of the Physic Garden’s Florilegium, has been a member since 2009 and contributes her paintings to the archives to document the unique flora found there. Mary Ellen teaches in the UK and abroad, exhibits and her work has been published, sold internationally and recently selected for inclusion in the Transylvania Florilegium being created under the umbrella of the Prince of Wales’s Foundation Romania.

“Choose a subject/setting that creates an emotional response within you and try to express this through your photograph. Think about what it is you love about that particular plant… or the setting of it. If possible, try to find the idiosyncratic qualities of that particular plant, for example, we all know what a snowdrop looks like but if you can shoot your photo emphasising say the drooping flower heads, ‘wings’ spread out ready for flight (by using the angle of your shot), or the light shining through petals… something that really endears you to that particular scene. Think about the composition of your subject: try not to have a flower ‘plunked’ in the middle of the image… perhaps moving just off centre or thinking of your image area in thirds. By placing the main focus (flower) on the edge of these divisions, can help to create a bit more tension and direct the viewer where to look first.”

The rules

  • The competition will run from 22 January until 11.59 pm on 31 March.
  • Entries must be in .jpg or .png format and must be no larger than 10 Mb.
  • You must have taken the photograph yourself.
  • You must have the permission of any persons that may appear in your photo.
  • Your photograph cannot have been submitted to any other photography competition or have appeared in any publications.
  • Entries for the under 18 category and under 12 catagory must be submitted through a parent or legal guardian.
  • You can enter up to three times per person and if you enter more than three times only your first three submissions will be considered.
  • Please note that it will not be possible for all prizes to be delivered to addresses outside the UK and that due to COVID 19 we may need to make substitutions if prize items become unavailable.

Chelsea Physic Garden Year of Wellbeing

This year is the Chelsea Physic Garden Year of Wellbeing where we are incorporating the New Economics Foundation’s five ways to wellbeing into everything we do.

More information