When it comes to professional photographers, Maitland is top of the tree.
Two locals businesses - Kelly Smith Photography from Aberglasslyn, and Dusk + Vine Photographyfrom East Maitland - took out the first two places in NSW at the annual 'Find A Photographer Australia' Photography Business Awards.
"I was sitting at home and got this email message from the competition saying I'd won," Kelly Smith said.
"I couldn't believe it. It basically comes from people's recommendations, so I didn't even know I'd been entered.
"But I'm pleased because it means my clients have been really happy with the job I've done. It's a nice way to end a rubbish year."
While Kelly grew up in a house where there was a camera handy and a steady stream of family snaps being taken, her journey to photography wasn't direct.
"I worked as a truck driver in the mines," she said.
"But my husband bought me this lovely camera one time and I thought I'd better take some lessons and learn how to use it properly - and I was hooked."
In 2013 she went professional and these days is booked out in advance.
"After the COVID lockdowns. business went crazy. I'm booked up into next year and am turning people away.
"I used to do families as well as wedding pictures, but now I've given the weddings away. Just family shots."
And what's her style?
"I look for authentic, evocative, natural images."
On the other side of town, Ashlee Cobcroft of Dusk + Vine specialises in those candid family moments.
The night before we rang she had been exchanging Instagram congratulations with Kelly who she hadn't met.
"I've got as new Instagram friend," she said.
She too loves the family pics and also newborns.
"I like to capture the tinyness of newborns," she said. "They don't stay that way for long, so I try to capture that moment.
"And with families I'll take the one money shot when they're looking at the camera, but then I'll say have fun and I'll try to get that natural interaction."
You might see her around Morpeth as it's a favourite spot.
"What's not to like, the history, the scenery ... my husband asks why I go there so often to take my pictures and I say 'if it ain't broke' ..."