The Societies 2017 Professional Imaging Competition
For the last few years I’ve done my best to enter the upper tier industry competitions. In UK terms the largest and most prestigious of which belong to The Societies and the BIPP (British Institute of Professional Photography). The former is a global event and can attract up to 17,000 professional entries from around the world each year. As such, judging takes place in monthly rounds across a number of categories.
I’ve noticed that in the last couple of years fewer and fewer Gold Medals are awarded and there’s now an even greater sense of achievement if you receive one. There is only one other awarded designation, Highly Commended. Some of these images can be very close to Gold level in points and are independently reassessed each December, with the possibility of being upgraded. In fact one of my images below (the bathers) was reclassified to Gold last week.
My schedule has been a little different this year and there’s been much less time for personal projects, and hence less material for competitions. Consequently, I’ve entered very few images but I’m delighted that the majority of these were awarded Gold and HC. The categories are Fine Art, Monochrome, Travel, Wildlife and Street Photography. Gold Medals were achieved in the Fine Art, Monochrome and Travel categories.
Those photographers achieving Gold awards are automatically shortlisted for the title of Photographer of the Year – a title I’ve won on two previous occasions in the Animal Portraiture and Environmental Portraiture categories.
As with the distinction/qualification process, entering competitions forces you to examine and refine every aspect of your image making. For an overview of current standards you can see this year’s gold medals here: The Societies Imaging Competition Gold Awards 2017