A FORMER Denbighshire Free Press photographer's efforts were rewarded when he scored top honours at the Wales Media Awards.

Don Jackson-Wyatt, 39, won News Photographer of the Year at the ceremony in Cardiff.

Don, who worked for NWN media - which was taken over by Newsquest last year - for nearly four years, was praised by judges for 'knowing the market'.

The judges were particularly impressed by his shot of footballer Gareth Bale; Don snapped the Real Madrid superstar and Welsh international footballer cutting a piece of the goal netting to keep as a momento after winning the trophy.

One judge said: "This is such a good, well seen picture where the photographer knows his market and ignores what most think is the story.

"The photographer is confident enough to stay with his man and has been rewarded with a remarkable image that is very different and much more interesting than the press pack would have taken."

Don, who grew up in Ruthin and lives in Denbigh, also worked for the Rhyl Journal.

During the event, he mingled with presenter Lucy Owen and journalist and broadcaster Ruth Wignall.

Don, who attended the awards alongside his wife - also called Lucy - said: "It was fantastic to win the award especially as the standard of competition of the other finalists was so high.

"The judges spoke very highly of my work and to gain the recognition within the industry will be a big boost moving forward for my business."

Don now runs his own business full time and produces images across a number of subjects.

He said his time at the Journal and Free Press had brought him closer to the communities.

He added: "I have read the Free Press since I was young, so I’m very proud to have worked for the paper.

"A good photograph is not just about composition and capturing.

"Sure, you can get lucky shots, but anticipating the events unfolding and being ready to capture - that is just as important for me."