This candid shot of a bride preparing for her big day has landed a photographer from Watford a prize in a top international competition.

Victoria Neale, 32, came first in the bridal party category of the Canon Creative Asia photography awards with her picture, entitled “The Squeeze”.

Victoria, who runs her own business Sophoto, took the picture during the build-up to the wedding of a couple from Harpenden, who married at Luton Hoo hotel in March last year.

She said: “They wanted a small intimate wedding with 30 friends. They were great. There were lots of natural shots to reflect the atmosphere of the occasion.

“A lot of brides aren't sure about the bridal party shots. It's about getting them with their mum or bridesmaids; the relationship and the excitement building up before the ceremony.”

Victoria, from Leavesden Road, decided to enter the competition after she was told about it by a friend and said she was “really chuffed” to hear she had won.

However, her photograph did cause some debate about whether it had been staged but she reassured them it was not.

Her prize is a Canon EOS 7D camera.

“I was really chuffed,” she said. “The calibre of images entered – some of them were absolutely amazing.

“The judges didn't like the images that were overly photo-shopped. My one is pretty much a pure photograph.

“It really surprised me that they picked it because it's such a straight-forward image. They seemed to really like it.”