Sep 7, 2017 | By: Calgary Professional Photographer, Alison Lapczuk
Here’s the end of this story: I was one judge away from qualifying for Photographic Artist of the Year in Alberta, 2017.
Disappointed? Nope. I can’t believe I came that close. (close to qualifying – winning would be another matter!)
Each year, the Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC) holds Provincial Image Salons in each province and one National Image Salon, where we put our best work up against other Canadian photographers.
We can enter up to 4 images into this competition.
A panel of 5 judges then OWN YOUR SOUL during the emotional roller coaster that is Salon Judging.
The standards are incredibly high. Only the very best images are Accepted, even fewer are scored as a Merit or Excellence.
It is not unusual for entrants to go 0 for 4.
I decided that I would attempt to qualify for Photographic Artist of the Year – shoot for the moon, right?
To accomplish this task, one must have all 4 entries accepted into the Salon covering very specific categories. In my case: Fine Art, Animal, Pictorial, and Editorial.
So, last summer, when I saw that my in-laws had a robin’s nest above their deck, I jumped at the opportunity to photograph them and get my ‘animal’ category covered.
Here’s a little behind the scenes from that adventure (by the way, it was wonderful watching the mother and father robins feeding their little baby birds!):
Here were my entries into the 2017 Alberta Image Salon:
Those robins disappeared the very next day.
Three made it into the Salon.
Two of them scored Merits.
These results made me over-the-moon-ecstatic. But it only got better, because, at the awards gala, I was pleasantly surprised to receive Best In Class Editorial (Viewmaster) and Best in Class Fine Art (Washed Ashore).
You know what? This whole competition thing is getting less and less scary.
I might even be starting to like it! No risk, no reward, right?
Alison Lapczuk is a documentary family photographer based in Calgary, Alberta. Her specialty is finished artwork created through photojournalistic photography of families, children, babies and dogs.