It’s done for me. Today the judging finished at the IRIS Awards, and I experienced the anxiety from afar. I really wished that I could have made it down this year to witness it all play out. It was a toss up between going and entering prints. Not being able to afford both. On one hand seeing the judging would have been a massive learning curve, and on the other, I wanted to kinda jump in boots and all. So, it was the boots and all approach for me this time….I entered 5 images in total. 2 scoring a Bronze, and 3 getting just below being marked in the 60′s. The ones that did not place were still considered to be of a high professional standard, but not award winning. So that is ok by me!

    What was awesome however, was two Bronzes!! My goal was to get one! So I am pretty stoked. A whole load of stuff has gone through my mind these last few days. Even though I was not there, I was placing myself in the judges minds and trying to see what they see. But at the end of the day, being there would have been SO much better. The judges probably have a combined photographic experience of half a century (plus) I’d imagine!

    The image I wanted to get a bronze was “Gun Boy”, and it did!!. So thank YOU Mitchel for being a superstar!
    child portrait


    My second Bronze was kind of a “wild card” entry. I documented the Slut Walk in Auckland some months back. I really enjoy photojournalistic imagery. It’s just about the purest form of photography. I took the opportunity to practice some in-camera “Crash Zooming”, and after some fails, I got what I was after! (apologies if this image makes your eyes go funny, it’s much better printed!). This was placed into the Editorial/Photojournalism Category.


    The next three images all scored in the high 60′s. So a close Bronze, but was not meant to be. Looking at them now after having my version of a  judges hat on for a few days, I can see why they did not place.


    So there you have it.

    I have to admit, this last image is one of my personal favs, and just because it didnt place doesnt mean that has to change. But I was a smidgen bit disappointing it didn’t rate :)

    Entering awards like this is a strange & personal journey. I had a photographer friend who was down there keeping an eye out for my images and texting me the results, so thank you Mike, much appreciated. When I recieved the text about the last one I was up on the viewing deck of the Sky Tower with my two kids. For some reason it made hearing the news ok. Looking down on the tiny people and cars, and looking out over he volcanoes of Auckland and the beauty of the see made print judging somehow not important in that moment. But having said that, it is….

    Like I said, It’s personal. It’s keeping to my goal to always be better than I was last week and to push my craft to new places. This is why I love what I do. The challenge of it is never ending and it’s huge, and fun and rewarding!

    I will leave you with a quote from Jerry Ghionis (Wedding Photographer Superstar!).

    “I have always believed that competitions are not just about winning; they are simply about playing the game! It gives you an extra reason to think differently on a wedding day and challenge yourself to be the best you can be. The difference between successful people and very successful people is that the latter are doers.”  Jerry Ghionis

    That’s it!

    2012 Iris Awards here I come!! I am going to GO!, as well as enter, and I am going to be MUCH MORE ORGANISED!

    Do not leave it to the last minute folks!! Just do not!

    Nykie :O)



    1. Jodie Callagher
      August 6, 2011

      Isnt it fantastic though just to get yourself out there … and wear your heart on your sleeve on on your canvas Well done and only good and things come from doing this I think your photos are just magical xxx The Sky is the limit !!!

    2. Heather Richardson
      August 6, 2011

      You are a star Nyk. I love everything you stand for. And the awards are well deserved. Big Congrats! :o )


    Leave a Reply to Jodie Callagher

    Cancel Reply