A York photographer is the cats whiskers- when it comes to taking pictures of pets.

Julia Healey of Julia Healey Photography has gained international recognition by winning a top award with the Guild of Professional Photographers.

The Guild received over 13,000 entries to its ‘Image of the Month’ Competition during 2023, from both photographers in the UK, as well as overseas! 

Each image is scored, and the scores from the year are then totalled to determine who becomes the Guild's Photographer of the Year. With so many entries, Julia says this was clearly a very demanding year long process! 


Julia, who lives in Huntington, was named a Top 10 Photographer of the Year in the pet genre, at an award ceremony earlier this month.

Guild directors Steven and Lesley Thirsk said: “We are both proud and delighted that Julia has achieved this recognition after 10 months of submitting the highest quality images.

“The Guild has very demanding standards when judging photographic competitions. The judging is undertaken by a panel of internationally recognised experts from a variety of photography backgrounds, so Julia quite rightly should be delighted with her extraordinary achievement”. 

York Press:

On hearing the news, Julia said: “I was completely gobsmacked to hear my name called out amongst some of the most incredibly talented pet photographers from all over the world.

“I have since found out that I actually came 5th overall! I am so honoured to have achieved such an incredible title, especially following my success earlier in 2023 when I was awarded the ‘Master Craftsman’ status for my cat photography.” 

Master Craftsman status reputedly puts Julia among the best 50 photographers in the country.

Members of the Guild of Photographers are committed to achieving the highest standards of professionalism and to a journey of continuing professional development.

Julia, 37, who came to the York area from Bedfordshire 16 years ago, has been a professional photographer for around 9 years.

Originally, she worked in admin roles but had always been interested in photography, undertaking a course in her former home county, which later led to a role as a photographer for a local estate agency.

“I realised this is what I wanted to do all my life, to turn my passion into a career,” she told the Press last year.

York Press: Julia with Willow and Niko

Like many other photographers Julia also specialise in weddings, but she believes she has more of a personal touch than others.

York Press: The panel that led to the recognition last year

Julia took to photographing pets shortly after adopting her two cats, quickly realising how much a part of the family they are.

You can find out more about the Guild at its website (www.photoguild.co.uk), and more about Julia at her website www.juliahealeyphotography.com