How can June be almost over already?! It's been a week since we got back from Wellington and I've only just started to feel back on an equilibrium. The start of winter has been SO much busier than I thought it would be & July is shaping up to be pretty full on too - which is a good thing! But I still don't feel like I've taken a deep breathe since the end of wedding season. That's what August is for - I have scheduled a whole 31 days off! (More on that in another blog post).
So Wellington was... amazing / crazy / challenging / exciting / fun / nerve-wracking & pretty much the best week of photography goodness ever! The NZIPP (NZ Institute of Professional Photographers) host the Iris Awards (NZ's only professional photography competition) & Infocus Conference each year. This is the third year I've attended now and every year it just gets better. The week starts with three solid days of print judging. The print judging is live so you can enter the rooms where the judging is happening to watch & listen to the panel of judges making comments on and scoring each print. This in itself is hugely educational but when it's your print being judged up there it's also incredibly terrifying!
Often there's the misconception that getting a Bronze award means third place, when in reality the awards process is more of a benchmark standard. Each print gets scored between 50 and 100, determining whether the print is below professional standard, of a professional standard or goes beyond professional standard & is worthy of an award. Here's an infographic of the scoring criteria to give you an idea of how the awards work.
I was beyond proud to get 3 awards from my 3 entries this year! So I am now halfway towards gaining my Associate to the NZIPP (I have 5 of the 10 merit points required). Bring on 2018 I say!
The next two days of our week in Wellington involve conference! Infocus is the national conference that the NZIPP host annually. Two jam-packed days of international and national speakers, workshops and networking! It was so awesome this year to have such a strong attendance from our local region - making the partying, lunches and events even more fun when shared with friends and familiar faces. As well as getting to catch up with friends from other regions who we pretty much only see at conference!
The speaker line up was epic this year. Some speakers talk about their story & journeys, others give educational presentations. I quickly lost count of how many speakers had me in tears - either from laughing so hard or crying uncontrollably as they told their heart-breaking stories of how photography saved them or showed us how they were using photography to do better in this world.
Finally it all comes to a close on Monday night with the gala dinner (yes a perk of being photographers is we get to party hard on a Monday night!). The gala dinner is where those who've achieved distinctions through the awards process are recognised and celebrated. (Check out the talent here). And then it's P-A-A-A-R-T-Y time!
Fair to say it's the most full-on week of my year - what with cramming in shopping, eating out, some social catch ups & of course a bit of camera work too! I came home exhausted but inspired. My heart is full and I already have the dates for next year marked in my calendar!
My favourite part of NZIPP Iris & Infocus 2017?? Sharing the experience with my business partner!