Posts tagged AIPP
It has been a very busy time at Studio Impressions. There has been a lot going on but there has been a couple of things that I am really excited to share with the world.
Recently the Australian Institute of Professional Photography held the Queensland State photography awards. Over the last few weeks, I have watched as Aurelie tentatively submitted images to the Queensland AIPP Awards in the wedding category. Just entering the awards is daunting – you are putting your work out to be critiqued, judged. Entering a category that your boss has won a few times is pretty gutsy I have to say. Especially when you know that the competition is going to be tough. Aurelie put her work out there and didn’t just do well, she did FANTASTIC! She was one of only 3 finalists for the category. The other two were previous winners Jonas Peterson & Todd Hunter-McGaw. It made me so happy to see her work beside the work of these talented guys, because she really deserves to be there.
And if that wasn’t enough, this month one of Australia’s leading photography magazines, Capture, listed who they believed would be the emerging top photographers of the future. Aurelie was listed as the runner up in the Wedding Category and a finalist in the Landscape Category. I have known for a while that she will be one of Australia’s top photographers in the future. It was great to see industry leaders notice it too.
A lot of people think you can start photography with a fancy camera, a good website and some great marketing. I am often surprised by the lack of experience in so many wedding photographers today. They are charging crazy prices after just 6 months and just a few weddings and, often it shows in their work. The reality is that you cannot replace hard work and experience. All those ‘rock star, award winning photographers’ have often been doing it tough on their craft for a while. Their accolades are well earned. They don’t just pick up a camera and make money. They study their craft. They practice, practice, practice, practice. Aurelie is no exception.
When the people that work for me achieve something they never thought possible, it gives me an unexpected sense of pride and joy for them. I know they have earned it. When someone joins the small Studio Impressions team they are required to ‘second shoot’ or assist for many years before they are allowed to photograph a wedding on their own. They work hard. Really hard. Their job is often tedious and often not behind the camera. But, they see and work on more images than most photographers. They certainly shoot more weddings than most before they book their own. This is part of my quality control process (or my perfectionist personality). What I have found though, is that it also grows great photographers. AMAZING photographers. Photographers better than me. Photographers that know their craft. Love it. Want to do better and better at it. And it makes me proud to see them grow and shine. These are photographers that connect with the people they photograph and want them to have memories of something significant – something they might not have even noticed. To themselves, they can always do better. Adam is this kind of photographer. Aurelie is this kind of photographer. And I can see that Karen Pedwell and Gabe Veit are this kind of photographer. I can’t wait to see them achieve more than they thought they could too. It is why this is a group of photographers I’m really really proud to work beside.
Aurelie, you are a sensational wedding photographer and a humble person. You deserve all of this. I look forward to learning from you.
For your enjoyment and mine, here is a little selection of the portfolio that was judged by Capture Magazine.
We are bad bad bloggers. I know it has been a few weeks since either Marcus or I have posted anything at all. Lots of good reasons why but none of them really matter to regular readers of our blog. Just know that we will be making up for it in the coming weeks.
First I wanted to share something that did happen during our blog hiatus that made me very very proud.
The Australian Institute of Professional Photography held the 2012 National Photography Awards. Marcus enters these awards every year and I will be honest and say I have often asked why. Over the years I have watched him grow in his photography and I have come to not only accept but love that he always wants to do better. Every year I smile when I see him look through hundreds of beautiful images and tell me he “just doesn’t have anything” (good enough to enter). I remember his very first awards and how much he wanted to prove to himself that his work could stand on its own merits. All these years later, this is still exactly the same. He honestly doesn’t care about the trophies or the titles, and we know that our clients don’t really care too much about that either. I have learnt that photography is Marcus’ voice. It is his way of expressing what he thinks about the world and while he doesn’t put it like this, I know he wants to always produce work that says something – that makes people feel. The awards give him a chance to litmus test that. And so I accept the annual craziness that is APPA. I love that he is still so passionate about it and I am quietly in awe of the consistency with which he produces beautiful images. We often laugh about how we see the same thing so differently. I am the lucky one in the unique position that can really see Marcus in his images, and his images, of other people’s weddings of all things, say more about him than most people know.
This year the images below earned him 2 Golds and 2 Silvers with distinctions, but more importantly, they earnt him enough “points” to get the title of Grand Master of Photography. Unfortunately this title doesn’t come with a cape or samurai sword or even a Grand Poobah fur hat with horns (Flinstones fans will know what I mean) – it just comes with a lot of years of hard work and consistently high standards of photography. For those of you that are not photographers, photography titles are bestowed by the AIPP based on the accrual of “points” for your photography. In order to receive a Grand Master of Photography you must first achieve the level of Master of Photography a minimum of 5 times, and accumulate at least 65 merit points over your career, including at least 5 Gold awards and 10 Silvers with Distinction. Now given that you only get two points when one of your images achieves a Gold with Distinction (the highest score you can get at an award), it takes a while to achieve 65 merit points. There are not a lot of Grand Masters out there and Marcus might well be the youngest of them.
Back at those first awards, I remember how Marcus dreamed of winning a Category. Grand Master seemed impossible. So jokes and name calling aside (there have been many courtesy mostly of me), I couldn’t be prouder that the commitment I have seen Marcus give to his photography and the little piece of him that appears in his images, has been rewarded in what is actually a very personal achievement. Well done you. This is something special.
Now Grand Master Shifu, can you pack the dishwasher for me?
It is Photography Awards season here in Australia. Although it always seems to sneak up on me, I love the Awards process. At times it is more of a love/hate relationship. It is hard to put yourself out there. Even after years of entering it is a confronting experience. You are putting something you have created, up to be judged. But the reason I do it is because it makes me stop and think about my work and it tests me creatively. When you push yourself, you have to become a little better and in the end that makes a difference for the people who trust you to photograph them as a professional.
I’m pretty happy with how my prints went this year, but what I am most proud of is not my work, but Aurelie’s. Aurelie really put herself out there this year and she not only just went okay, she became Runner Up Queensland AIPP Illustrative Photographer of the Year. The smile on her face was better than any award I’ve won. Aurelie joined our team a little over 2 years ago and has quickly become an incredible shooter, fast booking weddings of her own. You can check out her portfolio of images in the photo gallery here.
This was just one of the many moments already this year that have reminded me how lucky I am that Studio Impressions is more than just me. Studio Impressions was started by me, but it is really a collective of passionate talented people who love photography and how it can make us laugh or cry or argue or smile. Each one of them is talented in their own right. I’ve told you about Aurelie and you often see Adam’s work on this blog, but also sharing our little workspace are Karen & Tania who create cuter baby images than I can, and Gabe who is my right hand man at weddings and has recently produced some of the most beautiful albums the Studio has ever done. And then of course, there is my wife Penny who has been there behind the scenes from the very start, by my side, building this dream of ours. It really is a team I am super proud of.
I’ve decided it is time that you started to hear a lot more from them too. Along with Adam’s weddings you can look forward to some future posts of weddings by Aurelie and newborns by Karen, and I have asked Penny to write a few posts of her own too. I think it will be nice to hear a female voice now and again, starting tomorrow when I let the girls loose on the blog to share their favourite wedding fashions.
In the meantime, a BIG CONGRATULATIONS to all the very deserved Award Winners at this year’s Queensland AIPP awards. Here are just a couple of Aurelie’s gorgeous images that scored solid silver with distinctions from the Illustrative and Wedding categories.
Last week the 34th Edition of the Canon Australian Professional Photography Awards book arrived on my desk. In this book are the award winning images from the last AIPP awards, in 2010. These prints represent some of the best photography in Australia for that year.
I couldn’t help but be proud to see every photographer in our Studio represented in this book. What many people don’t realise is that in addition to Adam & I there is a small team of people that work behind the scenes to help us deliver the highest quality photography and service to our clients. Most of these people are also fantastic photographers in their own right, They are working for us to learn more, and looking at these images, I think I could learn a lot from them.
Here are my images from last year.
Adam’s page in the book.
Nicola is the studio’s portrait photographer who has proven here that she can do way more than babies!
Aurélie is our fabulous french re-toucher and second shooter.
Karen joined us just before winning this award. She works with Penny in client service but is also an amazing photographer.
Great stuff guys!!