Australian Institute for Professional Photography Awards
Photography Awards Australia | Fun Fun Fun
Good Morning peeps,
I knew prior to flying to Melbourne for the Australian Institute for Professional Photography awards and the NIKON Event, I would come back a changed person with a new perspective on photography and life. I could have NEVER have imagined how life-changing this past week would actually be.
Firstly, I know I am not a great traveller on my own. I tend to get anxious as I often get lost and extensively searched by security every single time! So this time was no different. I had the usual touch up by security at the airport and upon arriving in Melbourne popped into a cab and gave him the address of my air BnB house….not knowing that Punt Road runs through several suburbs AND at the beginning of EACH suburb…the numbers START AGAIN!! Needless to say I was dumped outside of an abandoned house several suburbs from where I was meant to be.
After a few tears as I tried to figure out what suburb I was actually in , the taxi number and the name of the suburb of where I was meant to go, in my anxious flustered panicked state. A few hours later I was in the right suburb, right accommodation and had downloaded the UBER app!! What a revolution that is ~ kicking myself I had not used it earlier.
The start of the Photography Awards Australia in beautiful Melbourne
The awards started on Saturday and I was sat in the amazing role as Panel chair & scribe for 3 solid days 8am till 6pm for 3 solid days. It is a supportive adjudication role where we speak with the esteemed and respected judging panel and the live streamed audience around the world. I watch print after print pass through my room for the 3 days and was, as usual, fabulously inspired by the sheer talent I sat amongst and witnessed in fine art prints in all of their beauty.
As entrants we are able to enter 4 images for photography awards Australia. I entered the portrait category, which you can see is the largest, so my chances were slim.
In previous years I had managed to achieve 2 silver awards in the Illustrative category.
For me, the AIPP awards are about pushing myself to develop a highly creative image that demonstrates exceptional vision, creativity and innovation. Remarkable technique, encompassing excellence in all assessment criteria.
The 4 images I entered were covering a broad range of studio and natural light portraiture, which I believe shows diversity.
The first won I shot was from the Winter Queen series. It was sideshot that I adored. I loved the lines, the shapes and the hint of color through the veil. Wonderful makeup provided by the gorgeous Miss Bree who indulged my creative vision.
The second image was the Metal Goddess Robots. This was my highest scoring image as a Silver with Distinction. (Professional excellence. Superior visual communication, imagination, craft and skill. ) This image came about after I saw a talented Make up artist, I had previously worked with, posted an idea she had on social media. It got my brain going and we collaborated along with the amazing costume designer Llama Kendall of Llama Strange Dreams.
Unfortunately these images are all that remains as Llama’s home and studio burnt to the ground shortly after this shoot took place. She lost her life's work and with the support of her local community is attempting to rebuild her life. If you would like to assist you can HERE
As I was editing the file, I had an idea and started to see various graphics at play. Shapes, lines. Below is the award winning final image and I have also added a few of the ideas that came to life through the editing. You can also see these in MUSE Magazine as they have just been published in their August Issue. LINK : HERE
The third image was a yet to be released, Spring series image. Awarded a Silver Award. (Exceeds normal professional practice, with high levels of communication, imagination, craft and skill) Shot in studio using my daughter Sophia as the model. It is a composite image and the bee was shot in Brisbane at a friends place who kindly assisted my as I teetered on the edge of her garden shooting the bees as they left the hive in the early morning light. The flower bonnet was originally designed for new born babies, but I contacted the maker and asked her could she make me an adult sized one. It is simply gorgeous and beautifully handmade. Thankyou Vicky Watson of Heartfelted – Handmade by Vivky. LINK HERE
The final image was one that I have had in my mind for over 12 months. As we visit the Grafton racing carnival each year, we always stop in the township of Ulmarra for lunch and a wander on the way home. If you haven't stopped in, put it on your bucket list. There is a magical old bookshop Ulmarra Bookshop & Collectable run by Russell Brownlee. After our visit last year I couldn’t stop imagining how I would capture him surrounded by his books. So this year I popped in and spoke with him. He went about his usual task as I didn’t want a posed image, and he casually said “if you get any worthwhile shots, or anything good, just post them down to me, I don’t do email”
So thankyou Russell – You can expect your images in the post soon. I hope I have done you and your magical space justice. Here’s a hint, look at the title of the books, what are they about? Ironic? That’s why I love this image. It is the little hidden hints that make it come alive as a story.
Some outtakes below. It was tough choosing the final one to enter.
Overall the judging resulted in my best scores yet, which I am very happy about. To be amongst the best professionals in our country and my work being recognised was mind-blowing.
After these 3 VERY intense days we partied, made new friends and danced and laughed till the early hours.
Then the Nikon Event began. A huge trade show and speakers from around the world came to inspire, motivate and encourage each one of us. I have pages of notes to read over and ideas that I wrote down. It was another great event put on my Nikon and the AIPP. I fell in love with a few speakers and their view of our world.
Thankyou David Duchemin from Boston USA http://davidduchemin.com who taught us the world can be seen best through Whiskey!
Micheal Grecco from New York USA http://www.michaelgrecco.com who taught us the value of Licensing our images.
Then we celebrated at the 40th Annual APPA Gala Dinner where we acknowledged the work of all of our forefathers, the volunteers behind the scenes, those who worked on volunteering to photograph 6000 WWII Veterans around the country and all of the category winners of the night. Congratulations to each one of you.
Oh ~ and my name was drawn out of a hat… and I WON A CAR!!!
Yep! So the story goes, I was in the ladies taking selfies with my girlfriends when a friend bursts through the bathroom doors and shouts “MEGAN, GET OUT HERE, THEY ARE CALLING YOUR NAME, YOU JUST WON A F#*KING CAR!!!” The bathroom came alive with screaming and yelling from all of us in there…I am dragged out and burst through into the Ballroom to 450 guests cheering!! I throw my arms in the air and head to the stage. Stand bewildered and state “are you joking??, is this serious??” Yes, it was not a dream! I thanked the AIPP and leaned into the microphone and shouted “ROAD TRIP TO THE GOLD COAST!!”
A hilarious and stunning announcement, that I still cant quiet believe! So very grateful. It is a VW POLO Tsi and I plan for it to be the Studio car with my branding all over it. You know I will post pictures on Social Media!! :D
The Whole event takes a huge number of Volunteers and employees to make it happen. Thankyou to each of you for making it a week I will never forget. I adore this community and the people who are “my people”.
Photography awards Australia
Congratulations, after only spending a very short time with you; I can see how you deserve it all! And winning a car!!! Awesome!!
What a great blog and recap of the last weeks events. Congratulations on your awards, you are so deserving of this and much more (including the car, can't wait to see it branded). Your work, dedication and journey is an inspiration to me. Keep going strong and sharing with us.
Wow - Awesome Megan ... love the stories behind the images. Sounds like a wonderful (if hard-working) weekend!! Huge Congratulations!!
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