Every year since I joined the AIPP in 2013, I have entered their State Awards. And for the last 5 years, also the National Awards. It gives professional photographers the opportunity to enter their best printed images to be judged by the top professional photographers in each field of photography. I do this as a way to challenge myself creatively and ensure I continue to develop my skills and expertise in photography. And for the fact that I really love and enjoy the experience.
Prints are judged by a panel of 5 judges who score the print out of 100. To achieve a score between 70-80 means it has been judged to be of professional standards. The kind of image you would be proud to give to any of your clients. To achieve a score 80-84 is a Silver Award. This is above the everyday professional image and proven to have something special. 85-89 is a Silver Distinction (and these awards get rarer and harder to achieve the higher they go). 90-94 is a Gold Award and 95-100 is Gold Distinction. I have only once achieved a Gold Distinction.
This year I entered two categories in the AIPP Epson ACT Professional Photography Awards, Travel & Family. On Day 1, my Travel images were judged. The four images I chose to enter are not your typical postcard images (as they do not score well in this sort of arena). To do well and impress the judges in a competition like this, you need to choose images which are unique and something they may never have seen before. They also need to be technically perfect and professionally printed. My images were all taken in Japan. Three of them being in Osaka and one in Tokyo. Japan is colourful, busy, lively and so completely different to where I live. So all of my images tell the story of my personal experience with this organised chaos.