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A photo depicting Richard Pearce’s art studio on Bryher has scooped this year’s top prize in the annual Isles of Scilly Photography Competition, which is organised annually by the Islands' Partnership. Kathryn Watson, a Metropolitan Police officer from Cambridge took the photo, entitled “An Artist’s Studio”, whilst on holiday with her wife and in-laws during the Creative Scilly festival in May this year.

Kathryn’s photo was selected as the outright winner from 35 shortlisted photos from across eight categories after she polled more than 1,000 votes on the Visit Isles of Scilly Instagram feed (@visitislesofscilly). In fact, Kathryn had no less than five photos shortlisted in this year’s competition, so a very worthy winner. She wins a three-night break for two on Tresco Island and two return flights with Penzance Helicopters, the new travel service to Scilly which starts up in March 2020.

A passionate amateur photographer, this year was the first time Kathryn had brought her wife to the islands. “I wanted her to discover this amazing archipelago so close to Cornwall that hold very fond memories for me,” she says. “Living in Cornwall as a child, we used to visit Scilly often, staying on St Mary’s and island hopping to all the others. I remember the freedom – being allowed to wander off on our bikes and being left to our own devices. These days, I find the islands instantly relaxing and totally stress-free.

"The islands are also perfect for budding photographers,” she continues. “I rarely get the time to take experimental photos these days due to my busy work schedule, but when I was on Scilly earlier this year, I enjoyed getting up at 4.30am, and getting out. Being on the islands for Creative Scilly was also perfect timing as I loved all the street performances and artists’ workshops. It was fantastic to bring together the favourite elements of my holiday in one image, and even better that it helped me win the competition!”

This year’s Visit Isles of Scilly photography competition, which has run every year since 2014, saw more than 700 entries across 8 categories: #MyScilly, Dark Skies, Dine the Isles, Everyday Magic, Instaworthy, Scilly Creatives, Scilly Events and Wild Scilly.

“The Isles of Scilly Photography Competition is now a firm fixture in the islands’ calendar which draws a lot of enthusiasm and excitement from visitors, and islanders, keen to showcase their photographic talent,” says Nick Bond, Executive Director of the Islands’ Partnership. “The quality of the entries this year was second to none and we’re delighted that so many will find their way into our existing photographic library and also feature in our marketing materials throughout 2020. Kathryn’s photo, together with a number of the shortlisted finalists, will also feature in the forthcoming 2020 Isles of Scilly Guide.”

The Islands’ Partnership would like to thank Tresco Island and Penzance Helicopters for providing the fantastic prize for the competition.