Judges were taken aback by the high standard of entries in this year?s AOP Assistants Awards, which has been won by Arthur Woodcroft.

Organised by the Association of Photographers (AoP), the competition is designed to allow photographic assistants to showcase their talents.

Woodcroft beat more than other 1,000 entries – also scooping honours in the Still Life and Fashion categories.

?If this is the work of so-called ?assistants? then I urge their photographer employers to watch their backs,? said the Observer picture desk?s Tony Bell, one of the judges.

?The high level of quality and creativity of the work in the book and exhibition is both surprising and inspiring,? he added.

This year, for the first time in five years, the contest was held independently of the main AoP Photographers Awards.

To view more of the winning entries visit www.the-awards.com/2008_Assistants_Awards

Picture credits: Arthur Woodcroft

Arthur Woodcroft