Weddings On Waiheke » The wedding Blog of Waiheke Wedding Photographer Emma Hughes

NZIPP Conference Part 1: The Epson Iris Awards 2015

NZIPP judge

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 CATEGORY:

Gold Award, NZIPP Epson Iris Awards

Gold Award, NZIPP Epson Iris Awards

Bronze Award, NZIPP Epson Iris Awards

Bronze Award, NZIPP Epson Iris Awards

Bronze Award, NZIPP Epson Iris Awards

Bronze Award, NZIPP Epson Iris Awards

CREATIVE WEDDING CATEGORY:

Bronze Award, NZIPP Epson Iris Awards

Bronze Award, NZIPP Epson Iris Awards

Bronze Award, NZIPP Epson Iris Awards

Bronze Award, NZIPP Epson Iris Awards

Bronze Award, NZIPP Epson Iris Awards

Bronze Award, NZIPP Epson Iris Awards

Silver Award, NZIPP Epson Iris Awards

Silver Award, NZIPP Epson Iris Awards

CLASSIC PORTRAIT CATEGORY:

Bronze Award, NZIPP Epson Iris Awards

Bronze Award, NZIPP Epson Iris Awards

Bronze Award, NZIPP Epson Iris Awards

Bronze Award, NZIPP Epson Iris Awards

Silver Award, NZIPP Epson Iris Awards

Silver Award, NZIPP Epson Iris Awards

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

  • Willow - I have to say it is so refreshing to read a blog that expresses both the human side of being exposed during sharing your creative process and also the objective nature of judging another’s creative expression. It’s great to know the process involved for both a competitor and judge is just as terrifying. Kudos to all of you for living in the fear and sharing your talent and bravery.ReplyCancel

  • pete rees - I’ve seen these images a few times Emma and keep coming back to check them out. Really lovely, creative and thoughtful. Keep them comingReplyCancel

  • Emma - Thanks Willow and Pete, really appreciate the comments and support xReplyCancel

  • Cathy - Superb infoamrtion here, ol’e chap; keep burning the midnight oil.ReplyCancel

  • dmv driving record ny - Thanks for sharing this! I’ve been having a hard time loving running again as my work schedule has just not allowed me to get in the miles and then I beat myself up and have to run at weird times. I agree with you that running is about YOU and finding what works. I’ve got my first marathon in jsut about 5 weeks and I’m so excited and scared and am really holding onto these last few weeks and hoping to get my running mojo back–I just need to remember that I love to run. Me. I do. And that’s what matters, right?ReplyCancel

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