This year, one of my goals was the enter the AIPP NSW Epson Professional Photography Awards.
The Awards are open to AIPP members and each State division has its own awards, before the Australian Professional Photography Awards (APPAs) later in the year. There are a number of categories, however I chose to enter four images in the Family category.
I didn’t know quite what to expect and I really entered to push myself to come up with four images that I was proud of. I didn’t necessarily expect to win any awards for my first year.
So, I got my images off to the printer with plenty of time. The images have to be professionally printed and matted in a regulation ‘Award’ format. With only a week before entries were due, I finally received my print back and I was devastated to find several printing marks on my two favourite prints! Arghhhhhh.
Thankfully the printer fast-tracked my prints and express posted them back to me, and I managed to get my print case sent off to Sydney just in time!
I was so nervous on the day of judging! I set up my ipad and computer to livestream the judging (the Family section was being judged over two rooms!) and watched and waited. You never know when your prints are coming up, so you just have to keep watching.
Finally one of my images came up and the critique on it was about what I had expected and I received a score of 76. A score of 70-77 is of Professional Standard with 78-79 Professional Standard approaching Award level.
A second image was judged and I received another 76. I was pretty happy at this stage to receive high 70’s – especially given it was my first time entering.
Finally, my third (and favourite) print came up for judging and as I saw 3 scores in the 80’s pop up, I was ecstatic! (I even had a few tears!). So a score of 80 and above is a Silver Award, which means that the print exceeds normal professional practice, with high levels of communication, imagination, craft and skill.
While I haven’t reached eligibility to enter the APPAs for this year (you need two or more prints to be Silver Awards or above), I will definitely start thinking about my entries to the NSW Awards again for next year.
I think it’s really important to challenge yourself and to constantly thrive to grow as a photographer. The awards is a great way to do this.
I am so stoked at my Silver award and my print is currently with the framers so that I can hang it with pride on my studio wall. And…..it’s pretty cool to say that I’m an ‘award winning’ photographer too!