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photo : Chris Furlong, Getty Images - UKPEG Photo Essay of the Year 2015

panel of judges

Sophie Batterbury, Picture Editor, the i
Sophie Batterbury is currently Picture Editor of The i Newspaper, responsible for imagery across the paper.

Previously she spent many years with Independent Newspapers, latterly as Head of Pictures, following a long stint as Picture Editor of The Independent on Sunday. Her career in photojournalism began in The Independent darkroom the week the Berlin Wall came down. Ever since that momentous week, the newsroom has held her attention in one way or another.

She is a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and is often asked to judge professional competitions. Most recently PPAI awards in Dublin and Slovenian National Press Photography Competition. She also undertakes some public speaking, most recently at The Foreign Office and The Eye Festival in Wales.

She is currently chair of the Visual Communication Advisory Board at Ravensbourne University

Sophie Batterbury

Melanie Bryan, Country Life
Melanie's Fleet Street career began back in 1989 at The Press Association, where she learnt about the press photography industry from the ground up.

Lucky enough to work alongside some of the finest photographers, editors and darkroom technicians in the business, her career to date spans the miraculous days of it taking just ½ hour to transmit a single colour photograph (if you were lucky), to publishing online picture galleries in under 30 minutes.

She has worked on the news picture desks of numerous national newspapers and international agencies.

As of November 2016, Mel can be found managing the Country Life Archive, where she is overseeing the digitisation and management of this precious national resource on all things British.

Melanie Bryan

Ian Day, Assistant Editor, Yorkshire Post Newspapers
Ian Day is currently the Assistant Editor of Yorkshire Post Newspapers where his responsibilities cover The Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post.

During his 25 year career, he has held the roles of Group Picture Editor at The Yorkshire Post, Head of Sports Photos at The Press Association, Deputy Picture Editor and Chief Photographer at the Bradford Telegraph & Argus, Picture Editor and Photographer at Ross Parry Picture Agency.

He started his career as a NCTJ trainee photographer at the Halifax Evening Courier. During his career, Ian has covered many major events from the Sydney Olympic Games, Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, Open Golf Championships through to the Tour de France Grand Départ in Yorkshire.

Ian has been a photographic judge for the British Press Awards, Sports Journalists Association Awards and the Irish Press Photographers Association Awards. Last year he was very honoured to be made a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society.

Ian Day

Matthew Fearn, The Daily Telegraph
Details to follow.

Martin Keene, Group Picture Editor, The Press Association
Martin Keene is Group Picture Editor of the Press Association and has overseen the agency's coverage of all the major news events in the UK over the past twenty years.

Prior to his appointment he worked as one of the agency's staff photographers.

He has recently published a second edition of his book: Practical Photojournalism: A Professional Guide. He lives in south west London.

Martin Keene

Jon Mills, Group Picture Editor, SWNS
Jon is group picture editor at SWNS working on breaking news and features for the national press.

He counts himself fortunate to have worked with many skilled photojournalists as he marks his tenth year at the UK's fastest growing agency.

He said: "The Picture Editors Guild Awards is the industry highlight of the year, a chance for those of us on the desk to show our appreciation for those on the road who really are at the sharp end, in all conditions.In a world where truth is literally becoming vaguer, great press photography still has the ability to faithfully write history as it is made".

Jon Mills

Jane Sherwood, Managing Editor of UK news, Getty Images
Jane started her career 25 years ago this year at Rex Features. Her career in pictures has seen her work for several well-known photo agencies and on most of the national newspaper picture desks.

Before moving to her current position as Managing Editor of UK news for Getty Images she was the Picture Editor of the Sunday Express.

She champions the role of professional press photographers as the trusted source of bringing the world's news to the viewer.

Jane Sherwood

Fiona Shields, Picture Editor, The Guardian
Fiona has over twenty years' picture editing experience across a range of newspaper titles and has been picture editor of the Guardian for the last seven.

During her career, Fiona has been involved in the coverage of some of the most historic stories of our time from the death of the Princess of Wales, 9/11 and the subsequent terror attacks in London, conflicts around the world from Bosnia to Iraq and Afghanistan, the revolution of the Arab Spring and the continuing violence in Syria, natural disasters such as the earthquakes in Haiti and Tsunami in Japan and a good few newsworthy elections.

Fiona has been a judge in the Sony World Photography Awards, The Renaissance Photography Awards as well as last years UK Picture Editors Competition and am a nominator for the Prix Pictet.

Fiona Shields

Elliot Wagland, Head of Pictures, The Evening Standard
Following extensive stints as a picture editor for The Daily Mail and the Mail Online and The Huffington Post, Elliot is currently Head of Pictures of The Evening Standard.

With nearly 20 years of experience, he has developed close working relationships with the most talented picture editors, photographers, influential news publications and picture agencies throughout the world.

Working for many of the leading newspapers and websites within the UK, Elliot has gained extensive knowledge of the industry.

Elliot Wagland