Monday, January 23, 2012

Australia's Top Emerging Photographers Awards 2012

Like many photographers, I love taking photos, but I am really crap at selling myself. Makes it really hard to get work when all I want to say is, "Just leave me the fuck alone!"

But professional photography is not just about taking photographs, the business aspects are crucial in order to succeed... It's probably more important than having a talent for photography, after all let's face it, there are a lot of really average shooters who run very successful photography businesses. Developing your 'brand', finding clients and keeping them happy etc etc etc... that's what being a professional photographer is largely about. There's already been a shitload written about all this stuff and we've got very worthwhile associations like the  AIPP and the ACMP to support and nurture professional and emerging professional photographers. So, I'll leave all that stuff for them and another time. 

Like many photographers, when I graduated (and despite the best intentions of the lecturers at TAFE) I still had no idea about how to establish myself. And, if the truth be told, more than a decade later, I am still blundering my way through. One of the things that I have learnt though is the importance of reputation and branding as part of the whole business of self promotion. OK, so once again it's a case of not practicing what I preach... just look at the dogs breakfast that is my website, this blog and my facebook page... All over the place like a mad woman's shit... only thing that seems to be consistent is that I may well be insane, but trust me... developing a 'name' is important in this industry. 

Awards and recognition for your work are definitely useful in developing that 'name' and extremely useful as part of the photographers marketing strategy. It's why some professional photographers cream their pants at the thought of doing well at the APPA's or the Walkley's and others get excited by significant competitions such as the Head On and Moran prizes. Professional and peer recognition can attract clients and create opportunities in all sorts of ways. 

That's not to say you should enter every competition under the sun, it's important to understand who you are pitching at and where you want to go. And of course, there are too many competitions that are just a thinly veiled attempt by the organisers to obtain / develop an image library without having to pay for the images... and at the same time appear to be engaging in some sort of 'community' interaction. The key is to read the Terms & Conditions, particularly regarding copyright, the rights being licensed by entering and what they can or will do with your pix. The ACMP put out a really good set of competition guidelines which you should refer to when considering entering any competition.

Ok, so what's the point of all this ramble?  Yaffa Publishing who put out Capture magazine, the only really worthwhile Australian photography magazine for professionals IMO, are taking entries for their  Australia's Top Emerging Photographers Awards 2012.

Entry is free and entrants must be aged 35 years or less at January 1, 2012, and have less than four years experience working as a professional photographer. From their blurb "The awards aim to encourage and identify up and coming image-makers and promote them in the early stages of their photographic careers.


There are eight categories in the program. Entries will be assessed by staff of the photographic magazines at Yaffa Publishing, who will develop shortlists for judging. These will be judged by a panel of leading professional photographers who will select a winner in each category, plus an overall winner who will be named Australia's Top Emerging Photographer 2012."

Eligible and interested? Go to for more information and to download the application form. 

For an emerging photographer, it's definitely something worth entering.
Those bloody gnomes are back again! © Julian Tennant
And this blogs pic? Well it's got nothing to do with any of this stuff... but if I wasn't up here in Timor sweating my arse off... I'd be relaxing by the pool, beer in hand too. Cowabunga!