Durham Photographer’s Shower Disco Image Wins Photo Fantastico Contest

I never imagined that a photo of me in the shower having my own little lockdown disco would win a prize… but it only went and won Prompt Winner in the latest round of the Photo Fantastico Contest!

And not only that, my set of quirky lockdown self portraits won me Best Overall Collection – pinch me now!

What is Photo Fantastico?

“A prompt-based photo contest for professional photographers from all corners of the globe.”

Photo Fantastico was originally an in-person event for teams of photographers to work together and get creative. But in 2020 it was forced to go virtual and in doing so attracted photographers from all over the world.

I have to say I do love a treasure hunt. Back in the 80s my family and I used to take part in car treasure hunts. These hunts took us around various local villages looking for hidden clues in buildings and signs. I loved those car trips. There was something so thrilling about frantically scanning the world around you to spot the answer to next clue first.

I first entered Photo Fantastico in the Summer of 2020; I’m not even sure how I came across it, but as soon as I heard what it entailed I was in. The contest is like a treasure hunt for the creative mind. On the first day, 5 ‘clues’ are released live to all the competitors. Then each photographer has 3 days to make five single images. Each image must represent, in some way, a different one of the clues or prompts.

I think the pressure of limited time really forces me to think and see in a different way. Knowing that I can be as creative as I want with the images is very freeing. I do love a bit of playing around on Photoshop, but because my family photography is very much ‘real-life’, I very rarely get to have fun with editing. So being able to get all artistic with a photo is a joy.

By far the best part of the whole process is coming back together at the end of the week to see what everyone has created. I find it astonishing how differently, and creatively, those five prompt words can be interpreted.

Photo Fantastico March 2021 Clues

The latest round of the contest happened earlier this month and the clues were:

Tethered | Maximum Color | Behind The Scenes | Disco | Revival

Each round that I have entered I have tried to have an overall theme that each image fits within. This time I decided to go with the theme of:


I wanted the images to tell a story of what parenting during yet another national lockdown looks like. I very rarely take a self-portrait so I felt it was time to get in the frame myself (my previous image sets had been focussed on each of my daughters). And I really wanted the images to be relatable, representative of a shared experience of a very strange time. So these are not ‘pretty selfies’, but a more abstract representation of of the theme and prompts.

Winning Images

When the slideshow was shown at the end of this round of the contest I was blown away at the range of photographs created. Some were hilarious, others poignant, some incredibly thought-provoking. When my Disco image won the prompt prize I have to admit I was shocked. And I also wondered how to tell my family that a photo of me naked in the shower had won an international prize!

But the icing on the cake was to see my name come up as Overall Collection Winner… For this little Durham photographer to win such a cool international contest has been a real honour!

You can see all the other images in the March 2021 round of Photo Fantastico HERE.

Durham Photographer Wins Contest