The Societies manage eight internationally recognised photographic organisations including SWPP. The societies hold an annual 20x16 print competition each year, which is open to members and non-members, professional and amateur photographers world wide.
I recently became a member of the Societies on the recommendation of my good friends Richard P Walton and John Denton. Both fantastic photographers and people I look up to in the industry.
Richard had really encouraged me on the run up to the print competition to get an entry in and I’m really grateful he did.
One of my sponsors, Paper Spectrum, had heard I was entering the competition, and very generously supplied me with the paper and mount board I needed to make the prints. A very generous gesture from a great company.
The print competition itself had several categories, which included Wedding, Portrait, Documentary, Natural World, Open and Nouveau. Many of the categories had sub categories.
The judging took place over a number of days during The Societies Convention in London by Internationally acclaimed and recognised judges.
Merited images were displayed for 14,000 visitors to see at the Convention, with finalist prints competing for the category winners. With the overall winner of the competition being announced at The Awards evening on Saturday 17th January.
I received word from my friend and fellow photographer Angela Adams that 7 of my prints had been merited and were on display at the convention, with 2 of the merited prints being finalists in the competition. There was a total of 17 finalist prints, that had been selected from all categories.
When I arrived in London at the convention, I viewed the 17 finalist prints that were up for the main awards, and I was in total awe of the sheer quality of the work I was up against.
Over 500 people attended the awards evening, and it was a fabulous entertaining night of photography industry awards, and individual photographer awards.
Towards the end of the evening, the print competition category winners were announced, and each winning photographer called to the stage and presented with their awards.
My overall winning print is a new work entitled 'We can work it out'.
My category seemed to take forever to be announced, and was towards the end of the evening. To my astonishment my name was announced as the winner of The Nouveau category and I was called onto stage to receive my award. I hadn’t fully made my way back to my seat when I was told not to go to far by the presenter, because I had also won the competition outright and I needed to go back on stage. To say I was speechless is an understatement!
I’ve won various photography awards previously, but never in an environment such as this, it really was a fantastic event. Extremely well organised, and executed to perfection with excellent A/V throughout.
The first award I won was sponsored by The Societies, and was a full convention package for 2016 worth £400.
The overall award I won was sponsored by Bowens and the prize was a Bowens twin head studio lighting kit.