Last September, I won the title of 2013 AIPP Australian Professional Documentary Photographer of the Year. I never posted about that here… life kind of took over, the roller coaster had well and truly started me on a ride around crazy town!
Thinking back on that experience, it was nothing short of incredible! When I joined the industry officially back in 2009, I was so inspired by the work of photographers in the APPA’s and in the back of my mind I secretly hoped I’d win a category some day. I never dreamed it would be so soon. The journey to that point was jam-packed full of long days, late nights, learning, growth and challenges. Not only was I challenging my skills and knowledge by entering the AIPP state awards, I was challenging social norms, personal barriers and industry ideals about the scope of domestic photography.
I have owned my journey, made it my own and taken the experience for what it is – recognition for taking risks, working incredibly hard and playing an active role in the industry. Over the months since being awarded, I have built my business with a sense of empowerment, I’ve had wonderful opportunities open up, developed my public speaking skills, connected with some very beautiful people and challenged myself further, in ways that have changed me for the better.
Winning the documentary category was an interesting situation however. Birth photography is in the early stages of public recognition, despite the fact that professional photographers offering this service for many years before I started. The APPA awards system had not been set up to judge birth photography in a way that honoured the true nature of the genre. Over the last 6 months, an important process of defining the genre within the realm of the AIPP has seen a supported push towards setting this domestic genre apart from others officially recognised in the professional industry.
I am incredibly proud to be a part of a team full of passionate birth photographers who have helped shape the new standards of professional birth photography within Australia. Within the AIPP Special Interest Group (SIG), accredited photographers have discussed and agreed on a code of ethics for birth photographers, created a new national birth photography website and directory.
All AIPP accredited photographers who offer birth photography to their clients are invited to submit their profile by contacting the AIPP here: http://birthphotographypro.com.au/contact-us/. You will then be sent a request for all the necessary information to get your listing up and running. All you need are your website details, portfolio images and a bio to complete your listing and then you can be a part of a community of photographers who are working together to drive forward the genre within Australia.
So the latest achievement to announce is the creation of a new awards category for the APPA’s, one that will better represent the genre of birth photography. Introducing the new APPA Birth Photography Category! You can view the award rules here. I’d love to see as many photographers submit their work into this category in 2014 as possible. It would make a great statement about the passion that stands behind this special genre of photography. I see it as an avenue to open up new opportunity to those of us who focus our business on birth and honouring the women who commission us. Even if you’ve never entered awards before, even if you’re not an AIPP member, this category is open to anyone who loves working in this genre. This category is going to be the best bench mark and most recognised event by the general public to expose the true beauty and excellence of birth photography wtihin Australia.
If you are willing to make the step to entering the awards, I’d love to hear from you. I’m happy to assist in any way I can to help you out on this journey of learning and growth. You have everything to gain when you take the jump, we all do when we stand united.
Let’s show Australia what incredible collective talent and passion we all have to change the way the world views birth, on our own terms.