The last couple of days have been such a roller coaster of emotions for me.  The ACT/NSW AIPP Professional Photography Awards have been in full swing.

For those of you that are not familiar with the AIPP, it is the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers.  The AIPP is the leading membership body for the photography community, and you can find out more about it HERE.

This year, the emotions have been riding higher than ever, because this year, I took out (arguably) the most hotly contested category – ACT Family Photographer of the Year.   I simply cannot describe what this means to me, because of course this area of photography is where my passion lies.

Here is how it works.  Photographers across the ACT and NSW can enter up to 8 images into one category.  One by one the images are judged by a panel of 5 of the leading photographers from around Australia.  Each judge scores the image between 50 to 100, with the average score representing the overall score the image receives.  It is a fascinating process to watch, and to hear the judges debate the merits of each image, and gut wrenching at times.  The judges are looking for many things, including levels of creativity, interpretation, imagination, emotion, execution and craft/technique, and of course the quality of printing is of paramount importance.  An image of good professional practice will score somewhere between 73 and 79, but an award winning print must deliver something more than just being of good professional practice.  A Silver will score between 80 and 84, a Silver with Distinction will score between 85 and 89, a Gold will score between 90 and 94, and a Gold with Distinction will score between 95 and 100.

Scoring a Gold with Distinction is as rare as hens teeth.  To give you an indication of just how hard it is, over all categories (Family, Wedding, Landscape, Portrait, Illustrative, Travel, Commercial, Science) throughout both the ACT and NSW, only 4 Gold with Distinctions were awarded.  I am so excited to announce that I received 2 of those Gold with Distinctions.  I also received 3 more Silvers, scoring 84, 82 and 80.

Again, I really just want to thank my clients, and in particular, those that are willing to entertain some of my crazy ideas.  Thankyou for just being you, and trusting me to tell your story.   Secondly, I wanted to thank the Canberra Community of Photographers.  I may well be a bit biased when I say this, but I truly believe that Canberra sets the standards so incredibly high with a body of incredible artists that inspire me, and support me and I really cannot thank them enough.  Lastly, I wanted to thank the sponsor for this event Epson, and also the AIPP, for providing me with this platform to grow and learn.

After the judging took place, I was interviewed for a podcast, and amongst many of the questions asked, the last question was “What advice would you give to other photographers entering these awards for the first time?”. Firstly, consider yourself brave for taking the plunge – BIG pat on the back.  Secondly, go and watch the awards being judged.  Live streaming is wonderful to watch, but it is no substitute for being there.   From actually being there, you can speak to the people that judge you prints, get individual feedback, advice and help from the best photographers in Australia.  Award or no award, be open to hear this advice and take it graciously, because it is probably some of the best advice you will receive.



SILVER 84 (oh so close to a Silver with Distinction)

Silver 82

The above images were my winning portfolio, but the image below also score a Silver 80

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