Ken Wins AIPP Australian Pet / Animal Photographer of the Year 2016
As I think a lot of you know by now, I received a huge HUGE honour this week as I was awarded the title of 2016 AIPP Australian Pet / Animal Photographer of the Year. I won the Queensland title last year, but this is the first time I have received such an honour at a National level. I am feeling so proud, this is the most important award I have won to date! I wanted to take this opportunity to show you the photos that helped me win the award, and also let you know more about the award and what it means for you, our wonderful clients.
The AIPP stands for the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers, and they are the professional industry body responsible for accrediting professional photographers as certified by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and for maintaining ethics and standards in the industry here in Australia. One of the events they organise each year are the Australian Professional Photography Awards, the APPAs, where each photographer sends in four printed photographs, which are then judged by a panel of 5 experienced professional photographers. It is a very nerve wracking experience being judged by your peers, but it ensures that the judging is fair and is a very high standard. The APPAs are very very well regarded around the world, considered to be one of if not the best competition of its type. I love it because its a chance to show off finished printed works, and the standard is very high. Winning an award at APPAs is what every Australian professional photographer dreams about!
The APPAs is also how you achieve your ‘status’ within the AIPP. If you win enough awards in a certain timeframe, you can earn the tile of ‘Associate’. You then go on to win the title ‘Master of Photography’ (which I gained in 2014), then you can add ‘gold bars’ to your Masters (I was awarded my first Gold Bar this year) and finally you can earn the title of Grandmaster of Photography, of which there are only a handful in Australia.
I entered 4 photos into the Pet / Animal category, along with a few hundred other photographs (the judging took 5 hours in all just for this category!) with the three photographers who gained the highest scores for all four prints going through to the ‘final’. In the final, which takes place behind closed doors, the most experienced photographers again judge the three photographers photographs, and decide which set is their favourite over all. They decided my photos won this year, and I am over the moon!
If you ever get the chance to attend such a competition you should, the panel judging is in front of a live audience, and its free for anyone to attend. If you are a keen photographer, at any level, you are guaranteed to learn a huge amount by watching the judging and you will be so inspired, there are so many beautiful photographs on display.
Competition wise, the APPAs is my main event, I use the APPAs as a yardstick to measure my progress as a photographer. Also I only ever enter work we have done for our actual clients or charity partners, I want to measure the work we are doing for our clients too and see how it matches up with the best in the profession. All 4 photos are already or soon will be sitting on a proud Mum and / or Dad’s wall at home, and that makes me happiest of all. If you haven’t booked in with us yet, maybe one of your furry family could be winning an award next year!