This year was my fifth year as a judge for the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photographers (NZIPP) at the Epson Iris Awards which is always both exciting and terrifying… standing before that room of eager photographers and having to pass judgement on their art is both a personal and professional challenge for me.
People love you if you rate their photography highly, but send some pretty hefty eye-daggers and scathing under the breath comments if you don’t (I know, because I sat in the audience for some of the judging) … and more often than not, photographers (myself included I’ll happily admit) are so close to their own artistic creations that they think it should ALL receive gold awards, so either way you can’t really win!
It definitely does not make you feel like the most popular person at the party!
Add to that the fact that they are now streaming the judging process live (and available for playback) and this means that anything that you say ‘can and will be held against you’ by a facebook lynch mob! (sigh). Still, despite this feeling of having a bit of a target on my back, I love the process of the Iris Awards and felt really proud to be a judge again this year, sitting among some incredibly experienced and knowledgeable judges who are at the top of their fields in both Australia and NZ. It’s always exciting to see new images that have been lovingly created by the entrants every year, and an absolute honour to be one the judging team.
Congrats to those of you who did well (*backslap!*) and to those that didn’t do as well as you hoped, be open to the potential of taking on the judges comments and improving your work, but also remember that all art is highly subjective and if you love your images regardless of the judges comments, then let that be enough for you. Hold your awards results loosely. x
(apols for bad screenshot from video)
I entered the awards myself again, as I do every year. I was over the moon to receive a Gold Award for an image (described by one judge as ‘provocative’) of a feather frozen in ice that looked more than a little bit like something else rather feminine! Well, you’ve got to stir the pot sometimes, aye? Keeps it interesting.
CREATIVE WEDDING CATEGORY:
CLASSIC PORTRAIT CATEGORY:
It’s always so tricky to figure out which images and categories to enter … I went a bit more arty with the creative wedding category this year and indulged in my love of slow shutter speeds and movement, and must admit that I thought the judges would rate them a bit higher than they did. Just goes to show that judges don’t always know what they are talking about, aye..? 😉
Thanks to my lovely clients Sal and Dan, Sarah and Kieran, Miwako and Masatomo, and Natalia and Marc, also the Taiohi Exhibition subjects and my beautiful friend Willow who allows me to torture her with my lens year after year after year.
Feel free to leave a comment below! I’d love to hear your thoughts x