THIS amazing, award-winning image (Pictured top) taken by a photographer shows a brave girl battling a genetic condition.

Rachel Stewart Illingworth, 36, is a Tadcaster photographer and operates from her studio, Evelyn and her Sweet Peas.

She recently won a prestigious award at the annual Wedding and Portrait Photographers International in America.

Rachel, who lives with her husband James, 42, and daughter Marcy, 12, was awarded the First Place Grant Award in the Portrait, Children and Teenager category for her picture of Hannah Harpin, 19, who battles the rare genetic condition ectodermal dysplasia.

Rachel said: “The whole reason was to show a different perspective. It is significant for anyone who is treated different for looking different, I think that’s the sole reason.

“I wanted to capture Hannah how she is, there is beauty on the inside and out. She’s absolutely beautiful and very inspiring.”

Hannah said: “I wanted to be involved because I want children to know it’s okay to be born with a disability. When I was growing up, there was no-one like me to look up to. I want people to know it’s okay to be different.”

Hannah is active on social media and is involved in modelling, something she wants to become further involved with.

Rachel said: “She stands up for people that are being bullied, people that are different, all while battling the usual trolling online.

“She is very good at modelling and that is something that she wants to do. I think she’ll smash it.

“Everyone in Las Vegas and on Facebook have been so incredibly kind and complimentary of Hannah.”

Rachel’s photo was given a score of 100 at the event, certifying it as platinum which judges only ever award once every few years.

Of the award, she said: “I’m very, very happy. Ecstatic really. I’m proud for a number of reasons. I’m happy for me, but I’m happy for Hannah too.

“With my photography I like to tell a story, showing someone’s story through photography makes me happy.”

Hannah said: “Rachel rang me at 5am in the morning, I was over the moon. I never get this sort of spotlight, it made me really happy.”

Ectodermal dysplasia is a large group of conditions that are best characterised by a defect of hair, teeth, nails, or any other tissue of ectodermal origin.

Another picture of Rachel’s ranked second in the creative division category, one of Lola and her pet royal pythons.

Rachel said: “It was a long shoot. When I shoot with animals, it is very important that the child and animals are safe. It took a long time to get the image but I’m very happy with it.”

The Facebook page for Evelyn and her Sweet Peas can be found here) and their website can be viewed here.