Entering Photography Competitions ~ APPA 2013

So most of you know by now that I like to enter photography competitions.  It’s not to compete against other photographers or for the trophies (the trophies are good though!) but to push myself creatively and to continually be inspired by other photographers.  And to also know that by having my work judged by leaders in our industry that I am producing the high level of work that my clients deserve.

Since returning home from the AIPP Australian Professional Photography Awards (APPA) in Melbourne on Tuesday my head hasn’t stopped spinning with new ideas!!!!  It’s crazy – I can’t wait to start working on my entries for 2014!

This year at APPA I had one goal and that was to earn the 2 points required to receive my Masters and I’m happy to say I earned 6!  To explain how the honours system works here in Australia, every silver award is worth 1 point and every gold is worth 2.  To achieve your Associate level you need to earn 5 points and to obtain your Masters you need an additional 10 points.  This was only my 3rd year entering so you could imagine how excited I was to achieve it 🙂  I’m now on my way to my first Gold Bar!!!

Entering photography competitions is one of the most nerve racking, scary things you can do, it takes a lot to put yourself out there to be judged by your peer’s.  But it’s one of those things if you don’t give it a go you’ll never know.

There are a ridiculous amount of competitions available for photographers to enter so please make sure you read the terms and conditions so you know what’s involved.  There is a facebook page called PhotoWatchDoghttps://www.facebook.com/PhotoWatchDog and it’s run by my good Friend William Long who might I add just won the AIPP Australian Commercial Photographer of the Year 2013 in Melbourne.  What’s great about this page is If you come across a competition and your not sure of the T&C’s you can post it on the PhotoWatchDog page and William will look into it and then give it a rating.  If it receives a bad rating he will contact the competition directors and discuss possible changes to their Terms and Conditions.  So please make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into and like the PhotoWatchDog page so you can keep up to date with different comps that are coming up.  And get this – he does it for free!

I also want to say a HUGE congratulations to everyone that received awards and to all the category winners at APPA this year, and most importantly a massive thank you to all the volunteers and judges who give up so much of their time to make it happen.  It was an amazing weekend!!!

Here are my APPA 2013 entries.  Being awarded for them is amazing but I also get so much personally from creating lifelong memories for my family and my clients.

The first two images were entered into the Family category and the last two into Portrait.

Triplets. Silver Award ~ 80

This image is my most treasured client image, I’m so sad to say that this beautiful lady passed away 2wks ago, so knowing that it will be cherished for generations is something I will never forget.  Silver Award ~ 81

My beautiful Grandparents who have been married for 61 years.  Recently my Pop suffered his 5th Stroke and my Grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a few weeks ago.   Gold Award ~ 91

And my Mum.  My beautiful brave mother.  Gold with Distinction ~ 98

(2nd highest scoring print by a fraction 🙂 )


30 thoughts on “Entering Photography Competitions ~ APPA 2013

  1. Jessica says:

    Wow, that last image of your mum brought me to tears. The emotions and strength in that photograph is out of this world. Amazing, amazing work.

  2. Lea White says:

    Hi, I’m from New Zealand.

    I just discovered your work. I recently started a photography course through the Photography Institute and am very much a beginner. I always wondered what I might like to end up photographing and have been asked a few times at work to take some photos (because I know a bit more than the others in the team 🙂 ). Since starting this course and seeing some of the images out there, I am totally in love with the idea of newborn photography and I think that is the area I will end up wanting to specialize in. Lots to learn though, but I am just so inspired with photography like yours!

    In this blog post your last image really stuck a chord with me. My own daughter had cancer when she was 2 weeks to turning 4. She had leukemia and went through 830 days of treatment. She is well now and almost 5 years off treatment. Recently I took a photo for my second assignment of her beads of courage that I am proud of and that came out the way I visualized it as it tells her story. She earned 1,300 beads of courage during her treatment – a bead for everything that happened and every coloured bead represents something i.e. white for each day of chemo, yellow for each night in hospital, red for a blood product transfusion and so on. I have an idea of what I would love to be able to capture in a photograph to celebrate her but recognize her journey, but that will take some more learning to finally make a reality. 🙂

    My grandmother was also diagnosed with alzheimers a few years ago and sadly passed away on her 82nd birthday. I would have loved to know enough about photography to take amazing photos of her as you have done.

    If you ever come to New Zealand (more specifically the Wellington area) would love to attend one of your newborn workshops. It is good seeing somebody like yourself in action and to have the chance to learn from.

    Thank you for the work you do 🙂

  3. Carmen says:

    Hallo Kelly,
    ich habe deine Arbeiten über den Creative LIVE Workshop für Newbornphotography kennengelernt und war überwältigt von deinen Bildern.
    Diese hier sind ABSOLUT AMAZING.
    Sie rufen so viel Emotionen hervor, am meisten berührt mich das Bild deiner Mutter.
    Grüsse aus Deutschland

  4. Krissy says:

    Oh my goodness Kelly! All amazing–and congratulations–and I’m a fan of and familiar with your beautiful newborn work and the serenity you consistently capture and create. BUT the one of your grandparents brought me tears and then your mum– speechless. The chills won’t leave. I think that is one of the most profound images of cancer that I’ve ever seen. Wow doesn’t suffice, but I don’t know what else to say.

  5. Charmaine Bailey says:

    Can I just repeat myself over and over again … Breathtakingly emotive and awesomely inspiring! Each time I see your work I have no choice but to repeat these words as I cannot find the words to adequately and sufficiently explain how beautiful it is! Well done!!!

  6. amanda buechler says:

    absolutely breathtaking. you are one talented woman, miss kelly brown! I’m so lucky to have met you at creativelive. you’re work is so emotional and beautiful!

  7. Linda McCarthy says:

    Your images are so amazingly beautiful. The one of your grandparents caught me off guard and totally reduced me to tears. One photo speaks volumes. Of course, the photograph of your mother is exquisite, clever, unusual and breathtakingly beautiful. One can feel the “before” and “after” and the pain and the anguish in that one single tear.

    You are an inspiration to all of us, Kelly. Your images stay with me!

  8. Jason C says:

    Amazing ohoto’s, all of them. We shall forever treasure the photo of Oscar with his Great Nanna and she will will watch over him always.

  9. Cat says:

    Kelly, huge congratulations! So well deserved. Your work is so emotive. Totally inspirational. Love each and everyone of these images x

  10. Denise says:

    Kelly, congratulations and so well done. The portrait of your grandparents moved me to tears…young or old your work is beautiful. And now you have me thinking about competitions. Yet to enter. Perhaps this year. 🙂

  11. Carolyn Peeler says:

    Hi Kelley, This is the first time I have visited your blog – I found you through a link to your triplet image that popped up on my facebook feed.

    You have a tremendous gift and your clients and family are blessed to be the recipients of it. I have pinned your triplet image – giving credit to you. I hope that’s OK.

    I would be remiss if I didn’t also say that while I love your triplet image, it is the one of your grandparents and mom that really evoked emotion in me. I love how photography allows one to tell a story through imagery. The stories you told in these 2 images are amazing.


  12. SimplyKendra says:

    Kelly, I’ve been following your photos ever since I first saw your first creative live newborn workshop. Your work is simply amazing and you are my inspiration! The photos that you create for people are ones that will be treasured forever! Thank you for your work and for being my inspiration to create beautiful memories!

  13. Aisha says:

    These photos require more than talent. You really have a gift for both seeing and portraying people. Having never met them, somehow I feel as if I know them. congrats to you! <3

  14. Courtney says:

    Kelly, you are amazing and so very creative! well done with your very special family photos..
    I love the emotion you put into your work, it really shines through.
    Thank you for your VERY helpful creativelive workshops too, I’ve learnt so much from you for my own photography work. xx

  15. melissa says:

    These photographs are amazing!!! The one of your mother is so moving. t brought tears to my eyes. They are all so special and so wonderful. You are awesome, and the work your produce is amazing. <3<3

  16. Janine Callon says:

    Thank you for the beautiful photo of our Nan, Kelly. It is priceless. Her eyes speak volumes – you certainly captured her soul. ♥

  17. Joy Swatsworth says:

    They are all incredible but the one of your mum is incredible. My husband was diagnosed with cancer last July and every.single.emotion in this picture just resonates with me..I believe it may be the most emotional photograph I have ever viewed. Well done and many.many.prayers for your mum.

  18. lee says:

    Im hoping to enter something in next years – I am an upcoming member now – but by then I hope I will be a full member …. Hoping I work out the printing & display side of things before then too!! Awesome work – wish i could see the photos up close 🙂

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