A PICTURE perfect snap taken by a local photographer of her seven-year-old daughter is in the running for one of the most prestigious awards in the world of photography.

Ania Pankiewicz, who works from her studio in Queen's Buildings, has reached the final of the fiercely contested Guild of Photographers' Image of the Year competition.

The picture ­— of her daughter Marishia ­— gives the viewer a double take as it appears to be one of twins.

But it is in fact two shots of the same girl ­— as Ania says her daughter is so full of energy that 'it feels like there is two of her at times'.

The Guild is a highly respected UK based association for photographers, which includes overseas members.

Each year it runs a photographic competition, assessed monthly across the year, by internationally respected judges with awards given to the best entries.

During 2019, the competition has attracted over 13,500 entries from the most talented of photographers across Britain and beyond and is divided into categories based on the subject matter.

The Guild’s judges have now announced the 10 images from all those submitted which have been selected to go forward to this year’s "Image of the Year" Final for each category.

Ania’s image was chosen in the Children’s Portraiture Category.

Those selected are said to be the "the best of the best".

Ania's entry was a photograph of her young daughter.

“She's so active and full of energy,” says Ania, “that it seems like there's two of her at times ­— hence the ‘double trouble’ take ­— with my little cherub photographed twice making it look like I have twins," said Ania.

She added:“I work a lot with actors and models. I'm the in-house photographer at Bolton Little Theatre and often shoot for ITV at their Media City studios in Salford Quays.

"I love photography and put a lot of effort into developing my skills. One way I’ve found to do that is to enter the Guild’s competition. It drives forward photography standards month after month so it helps me push myself."

Ania has been recognised by the Guild before.

She said: “I often use images of my clients as competition entries and in fact last year three of my clients’ photographs featured in the top 10 Classical Portrait category and I was also fortunate enough to be awarded two of the monthly Gold Awards and three Silver Awards across the year.”

Guild Director Lesley Thirsk said “One of the Guild’s aims is to drive standards and creativity amongst photographers. Our competition certainly does that, for the standard of the entries we see each month is quite staggering. To have an image recognised by the Guild in the competition is difficult enough, so to have an image selected as being one of the best in a particular category for the end of year Final is, without doubt, an incredible achievement, and shows just how talented a photographer Ania is.”

The winner will be announced at a prestigious awards ceremony at the start of February in the magnificent Crewe Hall, a Jacobean mansion in Cheshire.

To find out more about Ania visit her website at www.aniapank.co.uk