National Award for Acton Photographer

Chohee Courtois's picture was of herself before breast surgery

Chohee Courtois receiving her award at The Dorchester
Chohee Courtois receiving her award at The Dorchester


Sign up for our Acton newsletter

Comment on this story on the

November 23, 2023

A portrait photographer has won at this year’s prestigious British Photography Awards gala in London, receiving the People’s Choice Award.

Chohee Courtois gained the prize for her poignant work, "Mountain Before the Cut," a self-portrait taken prior to her lumpectomy.

The British Photography Awards showcase photographic work across various categories attracting thousands of entries annually.

The winners were unveiled at a gala ceremony held at The Dorchester Hotel in London on 10 November.

Describing the evening she received the award as "possibly one of the best nights" of her life, Mrs. Courtois said, "I was already over the moon to be shortlisted for the British Photography Awards; however, winning the People’s Choice award left me beyond words."

Captured in her Acton studio with the aid of a tripod, Mrs. Courtois regards the award-winning photograph as "more than just a photo."

"Earlier this year, I faced the challenge of a breast cancer diagnosis along with other personal issues. This image was primarily to document my breast before surgery but also to symbolise the strength needed to overcome such a stressful period. It stands as a beacon of hope," she explained.

The British Photography Awards presents just two accolades per category: one selected by the judges and one by the public vote. Mrs Courtois thanked those who voted for her and acknowledged, "I’m eternally grateful to all who appreciate my work."

She added, "I extend my love and support to everyone in difficult circumstances, and I am deeply thankful for the support I received during my own."

She now intends to offer a limited number of prints of her award-winning image for sale, with proceeds going to a breast cancer charity, subject to interest.

Although Mrs. Courtois specialises in pet portrait photography, a field in which she has achieved notable distinction, winning the 2023 International Pet Photographer of the Year Silver and Bronze Awards, being a finalist in the 2023 International Dog Photography Awards, and receiving an Honorable Mention in the 2023 International Photography Awards, she says she finds inspiration in all photography genres. “These recognitions in pet photography have been incredibly rewarding and serve as motivation to maintain a high standard of creativity,” she remarked. “It’s essential to remain creatively agile, drawing inspiration from the full spectrum of the photographic world.”

Looking ahead, she is excited about the January opening of her new purpose-built studio, currently under construction a short walk from West Acton tube station.

To learn more about photography sessions with Chohee Courtois or to enquire about a print of the award-winning image, visit


Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More

This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.

Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.

We’ve always done that and won’t be changing, in fact we’d like to do more.

However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.

We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.

A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.

One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.

If you do support us in this way we’d be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.

For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you’d like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.


Bookmark and Share