The new Australian Photographic Prize – with categories open to Australian and international photographers, amateurs and professionals – is scheduled to culminate at a 4-day event at The City Edge Centre in Narre Warren, September 8 – 11.
The event is the brainchild of former AIPP members Karen Alsop and Robyn Campbell, with assistance from Katrina Ferguson and Melissa Wood. It is being put forward as filling the APPA-shaped hole in the Australian professional photography calendar following the liquidation of the AIPP: ‘Since the collapse of the representing Australian Professional body [the AIPP], there has been a significant gap in the social and community aspects of photography in Australia which the Australian Photographic Prize aims to fill with a fresh energy of professionalism and inclusion,’ explains the Australian Photographic Prize website.
‘Karen Alsop and I have worked together on a number of national scale photographic event teams in the past, and were keen to put some positive connections back into the photography industry,’ Robyn Campbell explained. ‘After two years of what seemed like endless lockdowns in Melbourne, 2022 presented as a somewhat more optimistic year for launching a four-day photography event, which has been extremely well received!
‘We have received an extraordinary response from photographers, camera clubs, sponsors and entrants keen to participate. With so many people putting their hand up to assist with the judging and running of the event there is no doubt at all that the photographic community is ready to connect and push themselves to compete again in September 2022.’
The APPP organisers have done well with sponsors, boasting Nikon, Epson, Adobe, Eizo, Wacom, Kayell and Momento Pro among its supporters. Under the overarching brand ‘Australian Photographic Prize’, there will be several photographic awards, a trade exhibition, conference and workshops, and evening social events.
Most activities will take place at the City Edge Centre, near Fountain Gate shopping centre in Narre Warren, an outer eastern suburb of Melbourne.
The eponymous Australian Photographic Prize is one of the major awards in The Epson Print Awards. Nikon is sponsoring separate awards in which entrants present their images in digital form.
‘The aim of the Australian Photographic Prize is to bring both professional and amateur groups together in an inclusive environment to build a stronger photographic community overall,’ noted Robyn. ‘The Epson Print awards is for professionals – although amateurs are welcome to enter – and the Nikon Digital awards are for amateurs only.
‘There’s also a couple of extra categories for everyone to stretch their creativity, the Eizo Digital Artist Award and the Village Cinema Moving Image Award.’
There are 10 categories in total in The Epson Print Awards and entrants can put in up to eight prints in total, across any category, with a maximum of four per category. Category placegetters and overall award winners will be judged based on single entries, not portfolio entries.
Prints will be judged by a panel of five award winning professional photographers with score and feedback given for each print.
Category judging will be livestreamed via the website and live at the venue, with pre-booked free passes available to attend the judging.
At the end of each category judging all finalist prints scoring over 90 will be re-judged in a closed room to determine 1st, 2nd and 3rd category winners. The 1st place category winner will then go in the running for the APP Print Award winner title.
Tertiary Students are welcome to enter and compete for a separate APP Student Award. In addition, there are Master and Grand Master Awards ‘for those who have previously gained the equivalent academic, national, or international competition titles.’
The Nikon Digital Awards will be judged across six categories ‘by some of Australia’s leading professional photographers.’ Amateur photographers are able to make unlimited entries, with an opportunity for image critique and live feedback, ‘plus the opportunity to showcase your finest work.’
The overall prize pool has just tipped over $30,000 with two major prizes for the Australian Photographic Prize Nikon Digital Award winner and the Australian Photographic Prize Epson Print Award winner, as well as first place prizes across 19 categories, and minor Sub-Category prizes.
The conference will run from Friday 9 – Saturday 10 September, 9am – 3pm. Speakers announced to date include Rocco Ancora, Kelly Brown and Chris Anderson. The APP Conference Ticket ($325) provides access to the conference, the Print Awards judging, and a mini-trade show (3 – 5pm), with hands-on access to cameras, printers, lighting, etc.
Robyn said the Australian Photographic Prize has no plans to fill the broader representative role previously played by the AIPP. ‘The Australian Photographic Prize is not association-based, however we are currently working with Museums Victoria to establish a home for an archival collection of Australian Professional Photography, which will be collected through voluntary acquisition.
‘We hope with time, the collection will backdate to the earliest days of the history of Australian Professional Photography. Donations to the archive are appreciated.’