Skip to main content

Finally, I can call myself an Award Winning Photographer

 
It is with immense pride that I am sharing with you my experiences over the past week.  As many of you already know each year I attend a photographic convention organised by the Societies, this year being my 8th in a row.  It is through this convention that I have made incredible friendships, learned vast amounts of knowledge pertaining to all facets of my career and gained extensive inspiration that has brought me to where I am today.  And now, after 8 years of working towards this achievement I can finally say I was successful and more so than I ever could have imagined. 

 
I not only walked away with 4 merits from the 20x16 print competition which was judged earlier in the week, but I also received the awards of Pet Photographer of the Year as well as Portrait Studio Photographer of the Year and rounded up the evening taking 2nd place for the Overall Photographer of the year.  With nearly 14000 images entered throughout the year by photographers from around the world I consider this to be an incredible achievement and one that I will never forget. 

(by the way, that's Maggie Philbin there - she hosted the evening)
 
 (here I am with 3 of my favourite people from the Societies)

The week began with the 20x16 print competition which I eagerly sat through in its entirety to see my images be judged by a rotating panel of 5 judges from a pool of 22 highly esteemed photographers from around the world.  I didn't anticipate just how nerve wracking it would be but how thrilling at the same time.

(this is an picture of one of my merit images being judged)
 

In this competition I choose to enter 7 images and was fortunate to receive merits for 4 of those images, one receiving a score of 85 which I was thrilled with given the highest score given amongst the 574 images submitted was 88.


(Me sharing my second win with my great friend, Bev)

Then came the awards night which is honestly a night I will never forget and comes in as one of the best days of my life, second only to the day my daughter was born.  The buzz and excitement throughout the evening was incredibly.  I already knew that even if I didn't win I was still having a great time as often the anticipation is half the fun.  But thankfully I did get the experience of a lifetime when my name was called out not once but 3 times.  I will never forget the feeling of hearing my name called out and the cheers and clapping that quickly followed.  Then walking up to the stage and seeing the crowd full of my dear friends, many standing and waiting for me to walk by.  Winning these awards would not have meant nearly as much had I not had everyone with me to enjoy the moment.

(This is Adrian Henson.  We each won 3 awards that night.  Our table was awesome!)

And in true Oscar form, I'd like to take a minute to thank all those who've been there for me over the years as without them I not only wouldn't be doing what I'm doing today but I also wouldn't be having nearly as much fun.  So here it goes (with great fear that I will be missing someone). 

First, to all those within the Societies without whom none of this would have happened.  Phil, Juliet, Terrie, Colin, Ben and the rest of your lovely family thank you for organising such a great event and making us feel apart of your family. 

Second, to my wonderful photographer friends.  Faye and Trevor Yerbury, thank you for all your inspiration over the years as well as always being ever so helpful whenever I've wanted feedback or advice.  To Bev and Barrie Downie for being great friends and companions throughout so many conventions.  To Jon Jenkins and Richie Walton, thank you for all your support and encouragement.  You've made me want to keep trying year after year.  To Susan Renee whom I missed dearly this year.  You've been such a good friend and help ever since the first convention all those years ago.  To Dennis Orchard for all your advice and companionship over the past couple of years.  I'm so glad I got to share that trip to Malta with you.  To John Baikie for being my good luck charm and companion on the night as I nervously awaited the results.  And to Island Dave, the glue that holds us all together, always a pleasure to see you.  The convention wouldn't be the same without you.  A big thank you to all my many great friends, both new and not so new (didn't want to use the term old) whom I look forward to seeing each and every year.  I already can't wait until next year. 

And finally to my wonderful husband Andy who made my night even better when he told me he actually had tears in his eyes as my name was announced (for anyone who knows Andy that sort of thing NEVER happens). Without your patience and tolerance of what can sometimes be a very difficult profession none of this would have ever been possible.  I am so glad I could share that night with you. 


Here are the winning images:
 Portrait Studio Photographer of the Year & Overall 2nd Place Photographer of the Year


Pet Portrait Photographer of the Year
 
Now lets see what 2014 brings!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

I am Still Me: A Story about a Transgender Boy

Meet Leo. Leo is 15 and currently going through an epic transformation that has momentarily turned the lives of himself and those around him upside down. A mum who once had the daughter she always longed for is now coping with the realisation that she will be living the rest of her life with a son instead. When your child is born you have certain expectations of the typical life they will lead but most of us know and accept that it won't necessarily end up the way we imagine. Not every person wants to marry, have kids or be involved with the opposite sex. Most of us have come to accept this and can adjust to whatever comes our way relatively easily. But few of us have expected to have to deal with a change in sex. Its not that we've hoped it won't happen, but just that it never occurred to us that it might. This is a new adjustment that we as a society are being presented with today, just like so many others that have come before.


When I first heard that Phoebe was transi…

4 Merits, 3 Finalists, 2 Awards and a Masters!

This past week at the Societies of Photographers Convention in London was just about perfect in every way. As always I look forward to this event with mixed emotions. As a judge and speaker anxiety levels can be high. And I always know that through both working and socialising it can be an exhausting experience that is often hard to get through. However the high I finish on is simply incredible and worth all the sleepless nights and hard work, in large part due to the incredible people with whom I get to spend this week.

(Photo Credit: Mike McNamee - Sitting on a panel)
(Photo Credit: Mike McNamee - The entire judging team including print handlers)
Being amongst the judging team just gets better and better each year. It is very intimidating sitting on that panel and being resposible for assigning a score and then often providing a critique to substantiate it however the rewarding feeling when doing it well is immense. I know I am still a relatively new judge but hope I can improve each…

Family Portraits with Fine Art Flair

I have a love and hate relationship with family portraits. I love the finished piece and creating something that is truly special to the family. I love that in years to come something I made is going to be a cherished and valueable memento for this family. What I struggle with, is getting all members of the group to look their best at exactly the same moment in time. You would be surprised at how difficult this actually is, particularly when it comes to 6 children. But I always get there in the end, whether it is the luck of a moment or with the aid of Photoshop. I ensure that everyone in the portrait is looking their best, even the dog.


Seeing as this family is actually made up now of two families we also did portraits in their respective groups which I chose to do in different style to their main group. I love adding a bit of style for the overall main group and what you see above is something that is proving popular with my clients. I love adding props and giving a sort of Vanity F…

Portraits of a Beautiful Young Woman and Her Guitar

You may remember a while back when I did a casting call looking for teenage boys and girls. Well this is the girl I chose. I had quite a specific look in mind, one which included really long hair. I have always had a thing for long hair. The choice also became quite simple when this young lady put herself forward as she is someone I've been photographing through school for several years and she is a past member of the Hinckley Athletics Club where she has been coached by my husband for nearly as many years. He's always had a soft spot for her, being one of his first members which helped my decision. When I have projects where I want to work with a model rather than a paying client I like to use friends or past clients whenever possible as it enables me to give something to those who have been loyal to me.


Wallis has been a pleasure to work with. She is a stunning, confident young woman. In addition, she could bring props with her that I love. I've been wanting to photogra…

A Most Wonderful Portrait Session with 3 Lovely Ladies

This was a dream session for me. Not only did I have 3 beautiful young ladies, but they also brought with them a fantastic wardrobe and their very own hair stylist too (mum owns her own salon). So all the elements for beautiful portraits were there. And I was thrilled to get this opportunity.


Its easy to think of having portraits when you have a new baby or when you get married or have a special family occasion where you get the entire family portrait done. But its less often that people think of having their growing children photographed. After all I suppose, they are photographed at school. I even do some of those school photographs. However, those portraits are made in less than a minute per child and they are assembly line style portraits while they are wearing their school uniform. They are never going to be as special as what can be created with unlimited time and outfit changes in the comfort of a private studio.


Its in this environment that I can take the time to talk to the …