Castelnuova, Gold Award, 1995 Australian Professional Photography Awards.
The most important photo award I ever received was coming second. It was back in 1995 when I aspired to produce great photographs like Doug Spowart, Rob Imhoff, Ken Redpath and John Whitfield-King. Of course, I also admired the work of Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Irving Penn, but they were the international legends while Doug, Rob, Ken and John were the leading photographers in the AIPP.
And then at the end of the awards that year, I was standing on stage next to Tim Griffith who was the AIPP Australian Professional Photographer of the Year. Was I bummed that I only came second? Hell, no! I was amazed that I was even on the same stage – that the judges put my photography in the same league.
However, second place wasn’t the real prize, it was the gold and silver awards for my four prints. Winning first or second is a preference and there’s only one of each, while gold, silver and bronze awards are a 'standard' and there is no limit to how many will be handed out. It’s not up to the judges, it’s up to the entrants to reach that standard.
We all love receiving likes and hearts on Facebook and Instagram, but (sorry to say), if your photo has sunset colours or is of a fluffy puppy, of course you're going to get lots of love! The question I want to know is, how does my work stack up in the real world? What do people other than my friends and family think about my work? Is there a more objective assessment?
In our photo competition, earning a bronze award tells you you’re on the right track, a silver award is a real mark of achievement. And a gold award – I wish I knew how to get more of them myself!
Entries into the 2023 Better Photography Photographer of the Year Awards are now open. There is a $5000 cash prize pool, entries can win Gold, Silver or Bronze awards and every entry receives a judge's comment to assist them improve. Early entries close 8 October and final entries on 15 October 2023. For more details and to enter, visit www.betterphotographyphotocomp.com now!