On New Year’s Day I wrote this post, which was all about change and my plans for the coming year. I’d spent Christmas producing my first ever Series and my intention was to venture outside the Camera Club world and enter more mainstream photography competitions. It was hugely exciting, but also daunting and scary and I had no clue how my images would be perceived by a wider audience.
Taking courage in both hands, I entered the Lucie Awards and the Sony World Photo Awards which this year had a creative category ……..and got nowhere with either competition. Which I expected, naturally, because I was up against professionals from all over the globe but I couldn’t help but feel a bit despondent. I also entered the Fine Art Photography Awards (FAPA), in both the conceptual, fine art and photomanipulation categories. The winners were due to be announced today and as I hadn’t heard anything I assumed that none of my images had been successful.
My Mum is very poorly at the moment (under-statement of the century) and it has been one of the most stressful weeks of my life. It’s Sunday here in the UK and I woke feeling bone weary and sad, so imagine my face when I checked my inbox and discovered an email from FAPA telling me I’d been awarded in this year’s competition. My jaw is still on the floor and I haven’t stopped beaming since 😮.
According to their website, “FAPA’s mission is to celebrate fine art photography and to discover emerging talent from around the world”. They “seek to find artists and unique souls who breathe and live for creativity, providing a platform for promotion and support in their pursuit of self-realization and development” and this year’s competition attracted 4929 entries from 92 countries around the world.
I have been nominated in the photomanipulation category for my Solitary Confinement series 😮 (again!). As someone who is passionate about animal welfare the images mean a lot to me, not just because it’s my first ever series but because of the subject matter and message. That these particular photographs have been appreciated by the judges means the world and I am so chuffed with my award I could burst!
Throughout my entire photography journey I have been plagued by self doubt and a lack of confidence. I loved producing the series, but was concerned that it might appear contrived or that the images were too similar to each other. I have absolutely no formal photography or art training and don’t know what a good series even looks like. All I ever make are the pictures which are in my heart and if people like them great, and if they don’t I still like them and at the end of the day that’s what counts. Having said all that if you have worked really hard on a project and care deeply about it, when other people share your vision and passion it’s a wonderfully connected feeling 😊.
Because of everything going on with my Mum I have barely picked up my camera so far this year, but this award has given me fresh impetus and re-ignited my desire to create. So I’m now off to my tiny spare bedroom covered in fake bird feathers and we’ll just have to see what emerges!