2017 AIPP Queensland Professional Illustrative Photographer of the Year

The 2017 AIPP Queensland Epson Professional Photography Awards were as exciting and amazing as always. I judged for the second year, spending time on the panel in the Landscape, Portrait and Wedding categories judging with some industry heavyweights and getting to view some really amazing images. This year I submitted four images for judging, all in the Illustrative category. The goal was to get all four over the line to a Silver award – with the high standard of entries in the Professional Practice range, four Silvers is a challenging but achievable goal. Very pleased that all four of them made it over the line!

Giant surprise #1: Two of the images managed a coveted Gold Award. A few years ago, a Gold award was something that I hoped I might get once in my life, so my mind is blown that two images would fall in to that category at one time. Print Handlers (which has made an appearance at APPA, and WPPI) just snuck over the line with a 90, thanks to a challenge from NZ judge Kaye Davis. One of the new prints managed a score of 94 after the most amazing, heartfelt challenge from Mark Rossetto – a very solid gold!


Judge Mark Rossetto inspects, then challenges up, one of the new prints. (Thanks for the photos, Roxanne Gorman!)


At the end of judging, my prints managed one Silver, one Silver with Distinction, and two Golds!

Giant surprise #2: At the presentation dinner, I was awarded the 2017 AIPP Queensland Epson Professional Illustrative Photographer of the Year award! Congratulations also to the two other finalists, Charmaine Heyer and Jan Ramsay, both of whom are incredible artists. Also a great pleasure to be given the award by Sara McKenna, the current President of AIPP Queensland, an award-winning photographer, and a good friend. Sara has been amazingly supportive since this whole crazy awards journey has started for me, and it was fantastic to have her present the award!


Current AIPP President Sara McKenna presents the Illustrative prize. That is some shiny AIPP bling she has there. (Photo credit – Stephen Jones)



The category winners and overall winner of the QEPPAs! (Photo: Stephen Jones)

Last time I was standing amongst the category winners, I couldn’t believe I was there with such a group of rockstar photographers. Now I am chuffed to call many of them friends. Congrats to all of the category winners, including friends Andrea Thompson, Foroogh Yavari and Selena Rollason. It was also an immense pleasure to be up at the podium during the night to present the Emerging Photographer of the Year award to good friend Shane McCaffery.

Normally I like to keep images under wraps until the national awards, but… they’re out and about now, along with all of the category winners’ images, at the 2017 QEPPA Gallery. Or you can check them out below! I’m going to hold off on the normal blog entries about these until after the nationals… I do have an entry coming for Print Handlers, but I’ll leave that for another day!

Congratulations to all of the category finalists and winners, to the talented and very nice Ken Drake who took out the overall Photographer of the Year award, and to everyone who entered – it is very brave to put your prints out there to be judged!

The biggest of thank-yous to my family Wanda Bailey and Tara. Wanda, you support me 100% of the way, and have a hand in everything (more than you know!). I love you heaps. (#everybodyneedsawanda) But this award is for Tara; she is the most excellent assistant, she’s been there helping me with every one of these prints, probably 20+ different sessions. She’s held softboxes, prints, reflectors and flashes; she’s helped to set up and tear down gear; she’s brought her own ideas to sessions too. I’m proud that she’s held the camera and shot some client theatre work with me this year as well – it is very cool to see her developing an interest and a talent in this stuff, and I’m envious she’s starting a zillion years before I did. This is for you sweetheart.



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