A SALISBURY photographer has picked up a top national prize for her canine portrait.

Photographer Mandy Milford of Mandy Milford Photography won the Me and My Dog portrait category at the Xperience Awards.

Mandy, who runs the Britford business, is one of only 13 overall top winners in this year’s annual awards, chosen from more than 9000 entries.

Her subjects, Neo the Cocker Spaniel and his human Emma Barrett, have also been rewarded with a wall portrait of their image worth more than £600.

Mandy said she was delighted to have won.

She added: “I always try and create something a bit different in the last part of my portrait sessions, not only for the client but also to satisfy my own creative flair, so I was absolutely delighted to win this consumer award for Creative Dog Portrait, as the consumers are the real people who support me and purchase my artwork!”

Mandy also picked up one of the consumer awards in the Creative Dog Portrait category.

Xperience chief trainer Mark Cleghorn, developed the awards to challenge members of the Xperience Group to ‘step outside their comfort zones and get even more creative every day’.

The group is made up of more than 100 independent photographic studios from across the UK and Ireland.

Mr Cleghorn said: “In a world now dominated by photography, thanks to the smart phone and all its technology, we make sure we push our professional photographers and their boundaries every day.

“Our secret is to inspire our clients, by creating images that they cannot take themselves. This is achieved using our mastery of light and our imagination, to give them unique wall art for their homes.

“Once again, I was blown away by the quality of entries this year, the standard was exceptional and Mandy’s winning portrait was unanimous with the judging panel, the portrait is full of emotion with such a stillness and beauty, with classic composition with great use of colour.”