This year for the first time I decided to join the MPA (Master Photographers Association). As a qualified member this entitled me to compete amongst other professionals throughout the UK. Last night the awards ceremony was held at the Hinckley Island Hotel (amazingly close to home for a change) where I received the news that my family portrait won its category.
I am over the moon that it was a unanimous decision from all judges who felt it stood out against all others in the category making it the clear winner. And to have John Stoddart, a man who has photographed a great number of A list celebrities, present the award telling me this is a fantastic image was the icing on the cake.
I'll admit that I have never really regarded family groups as my strong suit. They are hard work and not always the most challenging creatively. Until now that is. This project which I consider to be a joint effort along with my clients involved much planning and creativity. Together we came up with the ideas that brought it all together.
Here is a link to the images I was up against in this category.
I also learned that evening that 3 of my child portraits were finalists in the Under 5's category. Unfortunately I lost to a beautiful portrait of a young ballerina by the amazing Lisa Visser. Her work I have admired for some time so I wasn't surprised when her portrait won, just a little disappointed as you can imagine, particularly as she went on to win the overall Portrait Category. Perhaps next year will be my year to win that.
This is the 7 portraits that earned merits for the Under 5's category, 3 of which were finalists (but I can't remember which, it happened so fast.)
A select few images were printed large and hanging on display. It was once again quite special to see one of my images this large)
I have to say that I was pretty blown away by all the finalists we saw last night and the chosen winners were just amazing. It is quite an honour to be among them. And probably the best part of the night was getting to see so many great friends once again. In an industry that leaves us on our own for much of our day to day life, its great to get the chance to catch up with good friends.
And now to get on with working on next year's entries. The drive to improve and create new things hasn't faltered and I hope it never does.