Each year, the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) together with Epson, host the State Professional Photography Awards. This year, the NSW awards were held mid-March in Sydney. The purpose of the awards is to get an understanding of where your work sits in comparison with your peers. By entering your work to be critiqued, you gain independent, authoritative feedback from professionals. It is a nail biting experience with some terrific highs and the inevitable lows. No system is perfect, and no judge is perfect, but sitting back and listening to judges talk about your work and where it can improve is humbling and invaluable. The lead up to entering the awards seems like it should be straight forward, but if you are like me...it always gets a bit stressful towards the end! This year, I somehow spaced out getting one of my images matted, so missed out on being a candidate for the Wildlife category by submitting only three as opposed to four images. Then, two days before the prints were to be submitted, I realised that somehow the mats were sized incorrectly! So back to the framer with an urgent job! I managed to get my images submitted in the nick of time...and then came the judging..yikes! I wasn't able to watch the judging live, but did catch some of it on Livestream, which is such a terrific option.
In the end, I was happy with my results. I won the Highest Scoring Print award for my Quelea Bird Migration image. Of the 1000 images submitted for judging, there were four Gold with Distinctions awarded. Two of these were mine...one for the Quelea Migration and the other for a Cheetah under a tree in the Kalahari. I was also one of three Finalists for the NSW Landscape Photographer of the Year, along with Adam Williams and Ignacio Palacios. Adam took out the award with some stunning images. Below are my award images. Having been a member of the AIPP for three years, I feel inspired to continue to improve my imagery and learn from all those creative people out there. Later on in the year, there will be the APPA's, the Australian Professional Photography Awards, which include photographers from the entire country, not just NSW.