I never thought I would be someone who would enter the Photography Industry Awards. I have entered ‘open to the public’ awards and won ‘People’s Choice’ but to be judged by my peers and those with so many accolades in the industry scared me. I was a wedding photographer that liked to produce images that made my clients smile, it wasn’t about being an artist winning awards.
I thought the images that won were always those that didn’t represent my style. To me they were a bit over the top with regards to their editing so it didn’t resemble a photo any more. Then the tide turned and an awesome photojournalistic photographer I know showed me his Gold Award winning image. It gave me faith in my ability to also produce Award quality images with my relaxed, candid, sometimes quirky and fun style!
This year I decided it was time to take a leap of faith and enter the AIPP NSW/ACT Professional Photography Awards. It seems my leap paid off as I received 4 awards out of the 7 images I entered! I scored 85, 84 and two 80s. My highest scoring print was of a Bridal Party at the Mint and received a Silver with Distinction Award. One of the judges said it reminded him of the Annie Leibovitz Vanity Fair shoots with celebrities – this is exactly the look I was going for so I was super excited to hear my vision was shared.
What did I get out of entering the awards other than some pretty certificates to hang on the walls?
1. Recognition from my colleagues and industry that I am producing professional quality work.
2. I have the ability to produce Award Winning images = bonus confidence boost.
2. A thirst for learning more about fine art printing and producing images that look like pieces of art to hang on the wall.
3. A renewed energy for working on personal photo projects to continually stretch my creative vision.
4. A greater appreciation for people who have a different style to me and how that can benefit how I approach my photography.
5. A stronger network with great photographers and opportunities to work on joint projects in the future.
For those photographers who are questioning whether you should enter, I say take that leap of faith and learn along the way!