The judges

Find out about the judging panel of photographic experts for the Young Photographer Awards.

Chris Packham

If you’ve been following the RSPCA Young Photographer Awards, or love nature programmes, you’ll know Chris! He’s been judging the competition since 1990 and is our RSPCA President. 

He’s a regular on TV shows such as Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Winterwatch, and narrates nature and science programmes such as the 2023 BBC TV series Earth. In 2019 he received a CBE for services to wildlife and nature conservation. 

Chris fell in love with wildlife photography as a child and has been taking pictures ever since. To see some of his amazing images visit:

Andrew Forsyth

Andrew is our Multimedia Manager, doing photoshoots with our animals around England and Wales. He's been a finalist in the Natural History Museum's Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards twice, as well as in the British Wildlife Photography Awards, Landscape Photographer of the Year, and the GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year competitions.

Andrew has been a RSPCA Young Photographer Awards judge since 2005 and knows a winning shot when he sees one.

Catriona Parfitt

Catriona is an aspiring professional wildlife photographer and former RSPCA Young Photographer Awards overall winner. Catriona first entered the competition in 2004, was named overall winner twice (in 2005 and 2010) and received awards in four other years, also.

She won the BBC Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year in 2008 and has been successful in the Young Travel Photographer of the Year competition. This is Catriona's ninth year as a judge.

Ellie Rothnie

Ellie is a full-time British wildlife photographer. She's been awarded in various competitions, including the international Festival de l'Oiseau, Nature's Best-Yellowstone, and British Wildlife Photography Awards.

In 2007 Ellie began to focus on her passion for wildlife photography, which led to her becoming a full-time photographer, trip leader and guide. She's widely published in national press and magazines, and photographs in the UK and further afield, with projects taking her to East Africa, the USA and Europe. Ellie is a tour leader with wildlife photography trip company, Natures Images. This is Ellie's ninth year as a judge.

Emma Jacobs

Emma is our Senior Photographer, with more than 20 years' experience in her field. She's, passionate about exploring new ways to use the photographic medium as a tool for visual communication, creating an image or series of images that tell a story and help people to connect with nature. In 2023 Emma won the Documentary Series category in the British Wildlife Photography Awards.

She believes that if more people could connect with and fall in love with animals, they would be more inspired to take better care of them.

Rachel Bigsby

Rachel is a leading professional wildlife photographer and Nikon Creator, renowned for her work with seabirds. She's represented by several notable brands including Swarovski Optiks and is an official contributing photographer for the RSPB.

Her work has become internationally recognised through competitions such as Bird Photographer of the Year, and her documentation of the avian flu crisis in seabirds was published globally by the prestigious National Geographic Society.

Fabian Rivers

Fabian is an exotics and wildlife vet, known as Dready Vet, and an RSPCA Ambassador. He’s appeared on CBBC show The Pets Factor and has presented animal welfare documentaries such as the BBC programme Britain's Puppy Boom: Counting the Cost

Fabian loves sharing animal care advice with young people and showing others how to look after the animals who share our world. 

A keen photographer himself, he’s joining the RSPCA Young Photographer Awards panel of judges for the first time this year.