Little Jesse Mackeylier has been named Baby of the Year in a national photography competition.
The tot’s cheeky expression as he peeks out from under a floppy hat was captured by Herne Bay’s Style Photography and was picked as one of 60 finalists in the Tembo Baby of the Year contest.
A panel of professional photographers scored the finalists and their marks were combined with those of a panel of mums as well as a panel of the competition’s sponsors.
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They were then added to points based on the number of Facebook likes each photo received. Jesse’s image was placed first by photographers and second by mums, earning him the highest number of points and the top prize of £5,000.
Photographer Doug Brown, who runs Style Photography in Herne Bay High Street with partner Sheila Mann, is delighted for Jesse and his parents.
He said: “Baby photography may look easy but actually it is one of the hardest disciplines to get right – and one of the most rewarding when you do.
“Jesse was a perfect model because he was so happy and smiley during the session and gave us lots of great expressions. Mum Jodie had brought along several outfits and props which were special to the family so we were able to capture lots of different shots.
“We were so pleased to hear he had won, and particularly proud that the image was placed first by photographers who value not only the fantastic end result but also the skill and experience needed to create it.”
Jesse’s mum Jodie, who lives in Whitstable, said she was overjoyed at the news.
She said: “There were so many pictures of lovely babies, we didn’t think Jesse would win.
“We owe a huge thank you to Doug and Sheila at Style; they are amazing photographers. We felt so relaxed and comfortable and Jesse had such a great time, Doug captured so many cute shots.”
Style Photography had a total of seven images in this year’s final, chosen from entries to the Baby of the Month competition throughout the year.
And Jesse is their second Baby of the Year winner, after little Teddie Morgan took the title in 2015.
Doug added: “We’re immensely proud to be part of this great competition and to have now won it for a second time out of all the many thousands of entries each year.”
Doug was also named MPA UK Creative Portrait Photographer of the Year for 2017 and received the Judges’ Choice Award for his entry.