FLORIADE’S Inspiration Hub will be filled with 40 award-winning images from Canberra’s commercial snappers during the final week of this year’s festival, and by some measures they’re the best in the country.
All the pictures going on display are the work of local professional photographers who were judged among the best at the Australian Professional Photography Awards in mid-September.
With only about 75 members, the ACT branch of the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers (AIPP) punched well above its weight.
“At the national awards, the ACT actually won the President’s Cup, which is a new award this year that goes to the State with the highest average score in the whole country,” says the president of AIPP ACT, Shanna Jones, pointing to the small gold cup in the home office where she runs her photography business.
“It was pretty amazing. I think we scored 81.5 on average, which is really good,” she says.
In line with the flower festival’s fourth weekly theme, “Contemporary Style”, the Floriade exhibition will focus on contemporary portraiture, explains Jones, who happens to specialise in the same style herself.
She describes the general look of her own images as “clean, crisp, bright and clear”, and shows us two of her 2013 award-winners that started as maternity shots and were manipulated into intriguing patterns as modern art pieces.
AIPP members can enter four shots in one of the national awards categories and judges give each shot a score. All the photos from ACT entrants going on show at Floriade scored high enough to win a Gold or Silver award.
“The three top scoring people, averaged across each entrant’s four photos, get to be finalists,” explains Shanna, whose shots made the finals in the family photography category.
“Out of those three, the judges get back together and review each set of images to decide who wins the overall category.”
This year, Canberra photographer Robyn Geering was the only local to win such an honour, edging out Shanna for the title of AIPP Australian Professional Family Photographer of the Year.
The final decisions about which photos to display at Floriade are being made by the event organisers although, as multiple award-winners, shots by both Jones and Geering are likely to be included.
As the cost of cameras has come down and with free opportunities to advertise online, “everyone’s a photographer these days,” says Shanna, which is why the AIPP tries to make sure their accredited members stand out from the crowd.
“When you become a fully accredited member of the AIPP, you go through a process of making sure that you’re registered as a business and you have proper insurance, and you have to pass a portfolio review,” she explains. “It’s to make sure that if you’re going to be doing it professionally, you need to be running a professional business and upholding the standards.”