So today I went to the judging for the portrait category in the QLD Australian Professional Photography Awards. I entered two images into the awards – one in the wedding category and one in the portrait category. I have to admit, my emotional investment was tied up in the one I entered into the portrait category as I felt that it was one of the strongest images I’d ever taken, but I wasn’t sure if it was award winning. Well thanks to a lot of encouragement and support from my beautiful friend Luisa, I plucked up the courage to enter. Luisa suggested I go and see Darren Jew from Foto Frenzy in Brisbane for help with my printing and matting. I have to tell you a bit about Darren here … Darren won 2012, 2010, 2009, 2007 Canon/AIPP Australian Science, Environment and Nature Photographer of the Year, and he also offers the best personalised printing and matting service to photographers (check out his personal work here and Foto Frenzy here). Darren was very helpful and kind in his approach to offering me advice on which type of paper to print it on. I had heard from other award winners that the actual print itself can make or break a photo, so I’m really grateful for his advice.
Soooo … Luisa and I arrived nice and early this morning with coffees in hand, ready to face whatever was coming our way. I had never been to the judging before, so it was really fascinating to see what it was like. The judging was held in two rooms adjacent to each other (separated by dividers) at the Metropolitan South Institute of Tafe in Mt Gravatt. The prints were rotated on a panel in front of the five judges, and the image was also shown on a larger screen for the whole room to see. The qualified judges then gave a score out of 100 and then it was averaged out to give a total. Points received for winning print entries to the AIPP Australian Professional Photography Awards can earn honours within the Institute. The number of points received for each print depends on the score:
Certificate of attainment – 78-79 - half point
Silver - 80-84 – 1 point
Silver with distinction – 85-89 – 1 point
Gold – 90-94 – 2 points
Gold with distinction – 95-100 – 2 points
There’s more info here if you want to read about how you can accrue points towards earning honours.
Ok, I’ll get to the point now … I won my first award! (: This is a picture of Libby that I took at her graduation session at the start of the year. I love this photo, and if I was going to be emotionally invested in any image, this one was it. Anyway, I sat in one room and Luisa in the other so we could keep an eye out for our prints. Luisa sent me a quick text to tell me it was out, so I got to see it being judged. The image won a Silver award with a score of 84 (just shy of a distinction!). I heard one of the judges say something along the lines of ’when you can photograph this well, you don’t need to overwork the image’, which is why it didn’t score higher. I take that to mean it would have been better in it’s natural state without a lot of the post processing. This was great constructive criticism as I know where I can improve on this photo now. Anyway, I’ve babbled long enough, and I hope you haven’t nodded off yet. Here’s the winning image … (: