It has been a good couple of months for me. Last month I got an email to tell me that my image had made it into the finalists in the 2014 Macquarie Prize competition, to be displayed at their Dubbo Gallery and therefore being in the running for the Grand Prize (Voted by the public). This is the furthest I have made it in this competition. I believe it is my third year I have entered an image in these awards. I guess third times the charm. However looking at the stiff competition, I am not holding my breath for the win, but I am very grateful to be apart of the finalists. The Image which I entered is one of my favourites and a similar one to the one I took on the same day (but with them smiling) actually won the $5000 first place in the Nation-wide “Centro – Smile Competition” at the end of last year. The money isn’t the reason it is my favourite. It is more the story behind it and the fact that it is of my Grandmother and youngest son that makes it so dear to me. You can read more about the image on an earlier blog post.
Not long after I got that email I went again to visit my Grandmother to help her with her groceries and I asked her if I could once again take some pictures of her. I love the charm of her old fashioned kitchen where she loves to dry her clothes in front of the open gas oven, so I told her it would be great if she had her washing washed and ready to be hung the next day when I arrived. She agreed of course, not only because she is a awesome Nan, but also because she was quite chuffed the last time I entered her in a comp, and became the winning shot that got hung up at our Local shopping centre. she jokingly refers to herself as one of the divas of the silver screen. I love that she is having fun with it.
After we did the shoot followed by her shopping, and lunch together, I came home and whacked the SD card straight in to my computer and got editing. The next day I entered it into the annual Moran Photographic Prize. This is on every Australian Photographers competition calendar. Not only does it have a Grand-Prize of $50,000. But it is also so prestigious that bragging rights alone are worth the entry. I can’t remember if I entered it last year but I imagine I did and probably got nowhere.
However my luck was still going strong and I received an email saying that my image had been selected into the Semi-Finalists stage (top 150). Not only had the image of Nan and her washing in the kitchen made it, so had my other entry. Both images in the top 150!!! I was jumping for joy around my empty house like a total knob. The next hurdle will be getting one of them in the top 30. Every entry that makes the top 30 wins $1000 plus has the honour of having their work hung in Paddington, Sydney for the length of the display. Unfortunately, the top 150 was as far as I made it this year, but it is a huge improvement to me, and will make me work even harder for next year!
Unbelievably I also then got my awards back from the Better Digital Photography Photograph of the Year 2014. I received my FIRST GOLD AWARD!!!!!!! I have entered this particular competition for four years now and had only ever got as high as a silver before. Many, Many Silvers and Bronzes but never any golds. So to say that I was excited would be an understatement. I had also gotten a few silvers and one bronze this year but who cares, there was a GOLD!!!!! Not only that but that gold image also came 2nd overall for the year in the Emotive Portraits category. My other image came 25th.
I know it may seem I am pretty happy for someone who hasn’t won yet, but that is because I am just happy to make it as far as I have. I know how great these other photographers are and I am honoured to be amongst them.