Time again for the Australian Professional Photography Awards, this time it takes us up to Sydney for 3 days of judging and being judged. I’m lucky enough to be a judge, lucky may not to be right world, humbled, honored, scared.. all these words fit. Basically I get to sit on one of the panels of 5 judges and together we judge the prints that we see in front of us and hopefully give it a great score. If it gets a great score it gets an award and a nice round of applause from the audience watching. It’s not always the case, I know too well myself that my best image entered tends to end up with a back in the case it was sent in with no award. In the event of no award there is a distinct silence in the room that is loudest to the photographer who entered that image.
There are three judging rooms each with their own panel of 7 judges, 5 of whom are judging at ones, and 2 on the bench who get rotated on allowing much needed toilet breaks. Over all there are 17 categories and between them 3151 entries all to be judged in just 3 days. It’s huge. 8am starts, 8.30pm finishes if things are running on time.
So, what is it all about?
You can win cash and prizes, and more importantly the most marketing value out of being named the Australian (insert genre of photography here ) Photographer of the Year. Down a level from the big ones title awards are the merit awards, the golds and silvers. These awards are also great marketing fodder and also go towards honors with each silver award 1 point and gold award 2 points.
Over time from entering it you accumulate enough point to be awarded the honor of being a Associate, Master or even if you have been entereing for ages and are really good, a Grand Master of Photography. I’m at the point where I am a Master with 1 Gold Bar, this means i’m a Master and I’ve also gained enough points to be a Master again. Each time this happens you get a gold bar to sew onto your ribbon. My gold bar is sitting here in the box it was presented to me two years ago and somehow I have to get it sewn on tonight before I go. The ribbon gets worn at official events of the AIPP and judging.
I’ve stated before why I enter the awards and what I get out of it. This year i’m really looking forward to meeting some new photographers and getting inspired. If you are in Sydney this coming Friday-Sunday you should drop by the Convention centre and check out the judging yourself, will be fun.
All the details and find print of the awards and judging system are here if you like a little read.