APP’s inaugural event draws applause

September 18, 2022

The inauguration Australian Photographic Award (APP) brought together hundreds of enthusiasts and professional photographers to showcase their work, intervening with a national photography community awards event in place of the now defunct Australian Institute of Professional Photography APPAs.

The Epson Print Award winning image by Charmaine Heyer. ”This image from the “Creative” category is from a fashion shoot. My intention was to transform an insect and a human to emphasize our interdependence”.

Word from co-organizer Karen Alsop is that there will be a second Australian Photography Prize, once again in Melbourne and scheduled for August.

The APP event – ​​a conference and exhibition, including live judging, took place over four days, September 8-11, at Narre Warren on the outskirts of Melbourne. This helps in part to fill the void left by the demise of the Australian Professional Photography Awards (APPA) from the AIPP.

With a resonant acronym, combined with a similar judging and points structure, and familiar names and sponsors, including the revival of the Epson Print Awards, it’s hard not to consider APP a close relative of APPAs. . A quick look at the results of the Epson Print Awards shows many former APPA champions in the mix.

But there is a fundamental difference; the Australian Photographic Prize is not just for professionals: the Epson Print Awards are open to everyone and the Nikon Digital Awards are for enthusiasts or those who earn less than $10,000 a year from their photography.

Modeling a new rewards system on APPA just a few months after the Institute’s bankruptcy appears ambitious and risky. For years, while the AIPP was able to maintain the camaraderie (for the most part) and competitive spirit, the board was unable to make the necessary adjustments to make them financially viable.

By making a fresh start, APP organizers Karen Alsop and Robyn Campbell were able to embrace the desirable components of APPA while addressing what the zeitgeist has taken to call “problematic” components, such as the way to welcome avid hobbyists into the fold, and including digital image file entries.

The vibrant photography enthusiast sector, including the bustling photography club scene, is one of the most active segments of the photography industry. community. They are the most eager to immerse themselves in photography, whether it’s buying new equipment or paying for education and experiences through tours, workshops and magazines. And many feel that their work is worth showing off and apt to win awards.

So it’s really obvious that a national photo contest will continue to be successful by expanding to meet the needs of this group. The AIPP, whose culture and history are deeply rooted in professional photography – whatever that means these days – was not constitutionally capable of tearing down that particular wall.

And yet, the Australian Photographic Prize also carries on some of these more professional guild traditions of the AIPP: “…There are Masters and Grand Master Awards for those who have already obtained the titles of academic, national or international competitions equivalents,” the website states.

The Australian Photographic Prize is divided into two main categories: the Nikon Digital Awards for amateurs and the Epson Print Awards which are open to all photographers but include professional categories such as Wedding and Commercial. As the name suggests, Nikon sponsored awards accept digital image files and Epson is strictly printed.

Camberwell Camera Club member David Bignell won the Nikon Digital Award with a reflective self-portrait; while Queensland-based professional photographer Charmaine Heyer won the Epson Print Award (top picture).

‘My photo is part of a series I did during confinement. He uses a visual metaphor to convey the message of someone who is literally washed out. The idea of ​​experimenting with tissue paper was born out of thoughts about processing floating emulsion.
“Once I started printing on fabric, I considered the possibilities of connecting paper to emotions. I started creating self-portraits with torn fabrics, damp fabrics, wrinkled fabrics, etc. The Fragility of Tissues felt apt to describe the fragility of the mind under different pressures. Ironically, being cooped up opened the door to a new creative space to explore and a Zeitgeist to capture. Photo: David Bignel.

There have also been discussions from people like Kelly Brown, Kris Anderson, Paul Hoelen, Robin Moon, Tony Hewitt and Courtney Holmes. And workshops. And an exhibition. Most shebang was also broadcast live.

Here is our interview with Karen Alsop:

Robyn Campbell and Karen Alsop, organizers of the Australian Photography Award.

How many attendees were there at the APP event – and do you have any idea of ​​the composition of the audience – young or old, gender, pros or enthusiasts, students, etc.? ?

We had more than 200 people in person per day, and nearly 5000 views on our livestreams (judgment, conference gala). We had students from local primary and secondary colleges in attendance, as well as a strong mix of enthusiasts and professionals who all came together to be part of the event.

How many entries did you have for the two main prizes – the Epson and Nikon prizes?We received nearly 600 APP Nikon Digital Awards entries, 150 Eizo Digital Artist and Village Cinematic Award entries, and exactly 700 APP Epson Print Awards entries.

Were you satisfied with the level of participation and prize entries?

For an inaugural event, we got a higher number of applications than expected. Attendance at on-site events could have been stronger, however, given the current societal shift away from face-to-face interaction due to pandemic concerns, attendance numbers were promising for growth. future. Live attendance was strong at all events, with students from Charters Towers in Far North Queensland, to overseas attendees from America tuning in.

What were the highlights of the event from the organizers’ point of view?

The highlights were the incredibly high level of work that was submitted, participants certainly “gave us their best pictures!” »

Plus, the sense of community and the mix of amateur, professional, and student participation, with a highlight being the bus load of high school-aged photographers who were in the room to hear feedback on their images.

Finally, the enthusiasm of our sponsors to join us and support the Australian Photographic Prize and the photographic community.

Are you planning a second Australian Photography Award for next year?

Yes, we will be hosting an Australian Photography Award 2023 next year, possibly early August.

Is there anything you could do differently next year, innovations, change of location, etc. ?

This year we have developed our own online, print and live rewards software, which is a first to our knowledge. We intend to continue to refine this software to ensure that participants and judges have the best possible experience using the system.

Decisions have yet to be made on the venue, although it will be in Melbourne. Finding a facility that meets the high standards of live streaming technology is a challenge, and our 2022 site was well positioned to meet that challenge. The combination of judging rooms, event rooms, catering, gala receptions and entertainment requires a specific type of venue. We will be undertaking a review process and are open to feedback from attendees and attendees for considerations in planning for next year’s event.

Any other comments or thanks?

We would like to thank our sponsors, especially Nikon, Epson and Kayell who have joined us as visionary sponsors. We would also like to thank the participants, the judges and the team who took the time to participate in this event, without whom it would not have been possible.

Facebook comments for the Australian Photography Award:

The following comments are a sample of participants at the inaugural Australian Photographic Prize event:

Thank you so much Robyn Campbell and Karen Alsop and everyone who helped us get the print awards and judging live with a panel – it was brilliant and I really appreciate all the hard work it must have been. Sharon Jones

Thank you to all the organizers, judges and behind-the-scenes volunteers who organized the awards this year, giving us a fabulous print contest to enter! Katrina’s Burgers

Words barely suffice to express how grateful I am, and I know we all are, to these two incredible women for imagining and being so invested in creating such a wonderful opportunity for us to celebrate. our profession and, above all, to come back together as a community. … Paul Holen

I am part of a group of canine photographers with people from all over the world. A few came from different countries and in summary agreed that the comments on each picture were so valuable, and they will only participate in competitions like the ones you have created in the future. They said they can learn and grow from what you’ve created Helen Green

…Thank you to Robyn Campbell and Karen Alsop and all that you have done. You took a huge risk, and I hope it paid off for you now and will continue to grow in the future. It may just be an event, but I think you’ve replanted the seed of our community, and I hope it grows into something even more extraordinary. I am in awe and cannot thank you enough. Adam Hourigan

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