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‘They thought I was a professional’: Proud grandmother’s family snap on north-east beach wins national award

Jacky Pratt's winning photograph, Hopeman Happiness. Photo: Jacky Pratt
Jacky Pratt's winning photograph, Hopeman Happiness. Photo: Jacky Pratt

A grandmother’s family snapshot has been named as the surprise winner of a national photography competition.

Jacky Pratt, from Hopeman, captured the image of her two daughters and three grandchildren on her mobile phone – wanting to savour the memory of a wonderful day together on the village’s beach.

The 74-year-old submitted it into the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society’s Ultimate Sea View competition before quickly forgetting about it.

She even dismissed an initial e-mail telling her she had won as spam, before later receiving a text message marked as “urgent”.

Now the retired whisky industry administrator is preparing to head to London for a prize-giving event.

‘They thought I was a professional photographer’

Mrs Pratt took the family photo after spending a day soaking up the sun with her daughters Adrienne and Jennie and grandchildren Rosie, Robyn and Holly on Hopeman beach.

Wanting to inject some energy into the snap, she encouraged them all to jump before taking the picture – which she christened Hopeman Happiness.

And the result captured the sea, sun and sand perfectly with the reflections marked on the beach.

Jacky Pratt took her winning photo at Hopeman beach. Photo: Jason Hedges/DCT Media

Mrs Pratt said: “I just thought it was a nice picture in the sun with the sand, and it was such a lovely day.

“I can’t even remember how I found out about the competition, but I thought it was a good picture so sent it in and forgot about it.

“When they said I had won one of the questions they asked me was how I catalogue my photos. I don’t – it’s just on my phone.

“And they were complimenting me on what I had done with the aperture and things, but I don’t do any of that.

“I don’t have anything to do with photography or a photography club, I just thought it was a nice photo.”

Winner chosen from 1,500 entries

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society ran the competition to celebrate the UK’s coastline.

Mrs Pratt’s Hopeman snap won the people and recreation category with other prizes for coastal views, industry and ships and wrecks.

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society is proud to announce the 2021 People & Recreation category winner is Jacky Pratt for…

Posted by Shipwrecked Mariners' Society on Wednesday, 15 September 2021

More than 1,500 entries were submitted as part of the competition.

And Mrs Pratt’s connection to the sea after her husband worked in the search and rescue team at RAF Kinloss encouraged her to enter the awards.

She said: “Initially we thought we couldn’t go all the way down to London for the event, especially as we haven’t gone anywhere due to Covid.

“But we’re going to go because I think it’s really a chance that will never come again.”


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This article originally appeared on the Evening Express website. For more information, read about our new combined website.