Dare to Dream

8 August 2014

A week ago I attended the Iris Awards and Infocus conference in Rotorua. It was my second time at that event, but this time I got to see some of the judging. Hundreds of stunning images from this country’s best professional photographers  in a variety of catagories are presented to a rolling panel of judges over three days and scrutinised scored and often argued over. It is both fascinating and nerve wracking if it is your image that’s up there.
I entered a year ago and gained a gold, four silvers and 3 bronze awards. My main goal was to surpass this. I was therefore delighted to do this by a country mile and gain 4 golds 1 silver with distinction, 3 silvers and a bronze.
That put me in the running for Landscape Photographer of the Year and overall Photographer of the Year. Amazing really! Beyond my wildest dreams, exciting, flattering and a bit scary. In the event both of these titles were won by fantastic photographers: Landscape Jackie Ranken of Queenstown and Overall POY Richard Wood of Hawkes Bay. Check out their websites!

As I reflected on the excitement of all this I realised that the real prize was something different: the new friendships made, the new things learnt, opportunity for personal growth and the joy of simply exploring and making photographs. So the lessons for me are compete, give of your best, maintain perspective and  Dare to Dream.