"YOU HAVE TO BE IN IT TO WIN IT!' AOP Award Winners Success Stories
10 September 2018
‘YOU HAVE TO BE IN IT TO WIN IT!’ – AOP Award Winners share advice and their success stories. Along with advice from our curators on what to consider when selecting your entries.
The Awards 2019 call for entries are open which means hours of thought and preparation ahead, as both our members and non-members prepare their entries for the Photographers and Open Awards. To help you along the way we catch up with a selection of our Award winning Accredited Photographer members and Assisting Photographer members who share the impact of winning - along with offering advice when considering what images to enter. We also caught up with two of our curators to give you an insight into what they are looking for in a winning image.
©Lorentz Gullachsen. Best in Category. Commissioned, Advertising, Single. Awards 2017
Lorentz Gullachsen: What impact has being a finalist/winner in last year’s awards had on your career? I was amazed by winning, it was a great honour and the win has raised my profile and had an positive effect on my work, I am lucky that I had enjoyed success earlier in my career and that was a life changing event. Winning an AOP award was one the major accolades in my career as an Advertising photographer.
Will you enter the next awards? I shall definitely enter again, as they say, ’You have to be in it to win it’.
Have you got any advice for photographers considering entering the next awards? Don’t try and guess what the judges want to see, enter what you believe in and although it is an expense put in as many as you can, I won with what I thought was the weakest image from a series, in context it was the best image but I was too close to my work. Thankfully the judges thought I was wrong.
What does the AOP do for you? Applying to join the AOP was one of best decisions I ever made, as a young photographer I benefited from great advise and support and being a member enabled me to open doors that had been closed. The AOP champions copyright law, has created the industry standard text on business practice (Beyond the Lens), these are all reasons to be a member but one daily help is the The AOP forum, it is like having Google search on steroids the generous support that each member can access is worth the membership fee alone.
©Alex Telfer. Best in Category. Commissioned, Advertising, Series. Awards 2017
Alex Telfer: What impact has being a finalist/winner in last year’s awards had on your career? The AOP Awards have always been a stamp of approval. The book and exhibition are viewed by everyone within our industry and the advertising world too. Being a winner in last year’s awards ensured that my work remained at the forefront of commissioner’s minds.
Have you got any advice for photographers considering entering the next awards? I’d urge photographers to enter the Awards. Being in the exhibition alone will do no harm to your career.
What does the AOP do for you? The AOP still has a certain prestige, it always has done. Being apart of the AOP and to be recognised by them is of great importance to me. I’ve been a member for 26 years now. The reassurance of knowing that you have an organisation that is on your side is of great comfort.
©Mark Mawson. Best in Category. Non-Commissioned, Object, Series. Awards 2017
Mark Mawson: What impact has being a finalist/winner in last year’s awards had on your career? Being a winner in last year’s awards has definitely got my name noticed by more people in the industry. I’ve also had more enquiries about potential shoots come in since the awards.
Have you got any advice for photographers considering entering the next awards? Be super critical of your work and only enter your best work but definitely enter!
What does the AOP do for you? Being an AOP member gives me confidence in having a professional body behind me, which is always there for any advice and it provides news about our industry. It’s also a good way to see what work fellow members are producing.
©Benedict Redgrove. Best in Category. Project. Awards 2017.
Benedict Redgrove: What impact has being a finalist/winner in last year’s awards had on your career? Winning the awards has created some new interest from people aware of the Awards and through the publicity the AOP arrange, and has increased peoples awareness of me that new me before.
Have you got any advice for photographers considering entering the next awards? I would say that you shouldn’t try to second-guess what people would like. Enter what you feel is right. That way if they aren’t accepted, you will always feel honest in your work and understand that its not based on a scorn guess. And if you are fortunate enough to be selected then you can stand by your work and know that what people are seeing is a true reflection of you and your work.
What does the AOP do for you? The AOP help fight for photographers rights and promote photography as a media and photographers as individuals.
DISCOVERY AWARD WINNERS
AOP Assisting Photographer members are eligible to enter the Photography categories with the chance of winning the AOP Discovery Award. This award enables us to discover and nurture new talent within our Assisting Photographer Membership, and offer those who are selected, the chance to become Accredited Photographer Members.
©Stephen Ambrose. Best in Category & Discovery Award. Non-Commissioned, Portrait, Single. Awards 2017
Stephen Ambrose: What impact has winning The Discovery Award in last year’s awards had on your career? Firstly It’s given me industry exposure. It has also lead to two new advertising agency clients and my first advertising campaign.
Will you enter the next awards? Definitely. Why wouldn’t you?.
What does the AOP do for you? Provides industry knowledge, support and exposure.
©Jeremy Flint. Discovery Award. Non-Commissioned, Portrait, Single. Awards 2017
Jeremy Flint: What impact has winning The Discovery Award in last year’s awards had on your career? I have definitely experienced greater publicity and exposure of my work to the public from winning. I have been approached by a client who found my work on the AOP website. I’ve also made new contacts.
Have you got any advice for photographers considering entering the next awards? Definitely enter - winning an AOP award is a great accolade to have from such a prestigious company. Provides a great support network of fellow creatives.
What does the AOP do for you? It has a useful forum to ask questions to professionals about any photography related topic
We caught up with two of the Curators from the Awards 2017 who share their advice on what makes a good image and why you should be entering the Awards.
©Tom Barnes. Best in Category. Open Award, Moving image. Awards 2017.
Franz Pagot, AIC MBKS, Cinematographer, BAFTA GBCT. Curator Moving Image, Open Award. What do you think makes for a good image within the Open Award Moving Image category?
The principle of “show, don’t tell”, when not every detail was explicitly explained, or worse, spoon fed. Leave the audience something they can figure out in their own head. A moving image is supposed to “move” you, let the image do that with the help of a great story and intense performances, and remember that the camera is also one of the performers!
Do you have any advice for someone who isn’t sure about entering? If you think telling a story with moving images is not for you, well think again because often is the newcomer, the beginner, who has the advantage. No preconceptions, free from past training and from the restraints of experience set like others have done it before. The person who is not sure to enter is the one often making the best entry, even the funniest at times!
©Tif Hunter. Best in Category. Non-Commissioned, Object, Single. Awards 2017
Bel January, Senior Creative Producer, C-Space. Curator Object, Photography Awards What do you think makes for a good image within the Photography Awards? Something that stands out from the crowd. It needs to be technically well executed although reviving more historical processes are interesting. Happy accidents are also great – as long as they can be replicated! Just try to find that ‘je ne sais quoi’
Do you have any advice for someone who isn’t sure about entering? The awards night is the best networking event you can go to in the photographic industry – there are so many important contacts to be made there. So being a winner and being exhibited there makes you stand out in a very congested crowd. The accompanying book lands on the best commissioners desk making your chance of being commissioned greater than those not having entered. These days I understand how hard it is to get face to face appointments with commissioners so the AOP awards is a perfect way to get your work in front of the right people. It would be madness not to enter.
Sign up to membership of the AOP to be eligible to enter the Photography Awards, we have a special offer of 25% off ALL Membership and we have abolished the £50 Admin Fee when applying to be an Accredited Photographer member. Quote Yay25 at the checkout or with your email application - offer valid until midnight Sunday 16 September. Click here for more info on joining us. Visit the Awards website to find out more about the Awards and to enter!.