2013 Iris Awards

Have just submitted my entries to NZIPP Annual Iris Awards. this was the culmination of effort to choose the best images out of the tens of thousands of photos which I have in my database. I then retouched them and made a few test prints to see that the final outcome is of the highest quality – only prints are submitted for judging and the ultimate test is to get these right. The final stage is to mount the prints on beautiful matt boards so they can be properly displayed. Eight prints out of the ten photographs were great and two had to be re-printed and re-mounted today.
This was a real roller coaster as so much of my time an attention throughout the past few weeks was dedicated to this mission. Once I received a certain grade in previous years, my aspiration is to exceed and surpass those achievements and to get an even higher score. The benchmarks keeps going up and my demand of myself is to excel as my proficiency becomes better and my technique improves. The overall quality of the photos is extremely high so this is a great opportunity to test my skills and to get acknowledgement from my peers that my art is of highest quality.
The judging is usually a nerve wracking experience and the anticipation is so high that I become really stressed… My top mark in 2012 was Silver with Distinction so I’m now looking for that and more. The process of selection is tedious and I try to consult with others but ultimately, I have to trust myself and my judgement. Some of my entries are very solid and ‘safe’ while others are a bit risky as I have tried a new photography technique called composite where I ‘plant’ a portrait into a scene. The portrait was taken inside my studio and the trick is to place the model in a different environment without making it float in space. It has to look natural with all the light and shadow to create a realistic photograph.

NZIPP is dedicated to championing Professional Photography in New Zealand. It represents the best professional photographers in all disciplines: Portrait, Landscape, Illustrative, Commercial, Wedding, Travel etc.

This year, the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography Iris Award Infocus annual convention will be held in Auckland at The Pullman Hotel from August 1st till August 6th. Judging for the Iris Awards will take place on the first three days August 1-August3, with seminars, workshop and master classes following. The judging is open to the public and all are welcome to view the process, 8:30am-7pm entry is free. This will be a great opportunity to see the top Judges in Australasia articulate their opinions. It is also where the best creative photographic artists in the country present their work. This is a not to be missed event, where you can learn and see the best photography in NZ. The Infocus Conference keynote speakers are American portrait photographer Greg Heisler and Trey Ratcliff.

On August 3rd, NZIPP will be holding an evening with ‘world renowned’ NZ photographer Rachael Hale McKenna which is also a public event ($45/person)

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