More than 40 children have already entered the annual search for Bradford’s bonniest baby or toddler.
The Happy Tots competition, run by the Telegraph & Argus and now in its 13th year, began at the city’s Kirkgate Shopping Centre yesterday.
A new photographic firm, Starlight Studios, are on board to capture this year’s contest, and director Andy Nield said families were queueing at 10am to be the first to be pictured.
“We’ve had a lot of interest, and spoken to a lot of families who’ve been really keen to get involved,” he said. “Parents have been saying they will tell their friends that we’re here, so hopefully the numbers will continue to go up throughout the week.”
The competition has been extended this year to cater for children up to five years of age, with the five age categories now: up to six months; six -12 months; one-two years; two -three years; and three-five years.
The winner in each age category will get a framed 20x16 portrait of their child and a month’s pass to the Jungle at the Junction soft play gym at Black Dyke Mills in Queensbury.
The one overall winner will receive £500 of shopping vouchers to spend at the Kirkgate Centre, which has again teamed up with the T&A for this year’s contest.
Rosie Egege, 31, of Rooley Lane, Bradford, entered her son, Jacob Egan, aged four months, into the ‘up to six months’ category yesterday.
“Usually he doesn’t really look at the camera for pictures, but he was smiling today and really enjoying it,” she said. “We were just out shopping and entered as a spur of the moment thing.”
Starlight’s photographers will be at the Kirkgate Centre to take the happy snaps until Saturday, February 8. Times are 10am to 4pm on all days, but photographers will not be there on Sunday, February 2.
From Monday, February 10, to Saturday, February 15, Starlight will again be present at the centre 10am-4pm to allow parents to come and view the pictures and have the chance to buy their copies. A photograph of each tot will feature in the T&A Happy Tots supplement on Wednesday, March 19, and readers will then be able to vote for their favourites.
The top three in each category will then go into the final for another public vote.