March in the portrait photographer’s world is the first round of award submissions for the year, and once again I didn’t really know whether I’d submit anything or just leave it this time round. It was when I learned that there was a new Challenge Category, that I made up my mind. It was titled “Cultures of the World”, and I just knew that I had the perfect image to enter. Anyway, I submitted a few entries and it didn’t really cross my mind again.

Fast forward to today, which is the date that The Portrait Masters Awards are announced. I woke up really early, 4am to be exact, and I couldn’t get back to sleep. As we all do sometimes, I grabbed my phone and started scrolling mindlessly through Facebook. I noticed that Sue Bryce and The Portrait Masters were due to go live shortly. I usually don’t watch the live broadcasts as it’s generally a little early to start the day, but I decided to tune in this time. As they showed the top 20 images of each category, and each category winner, I remembered that I had actually entered an image into the Cultures of the World category. Anyway, as I’m watching them count back from 20 to 1, showing the top 20 of this category, my image of Abi pops up! YES! MY image was in the top 20 of this category! I let out a little gasp as it was completely unexpected, it didn’t even enter my mind that this would happen. So there it was for the world to see, my image of Abi in the top 20, with my name underneath.

As a photographer, we are our own worst critic, always striving to be better, always comparing ourselves to the next person, judging ourselves and our work and forever doubting if something is good enough. That’s why this is so special and important to ME. You might not get it, but to be recognised for your work is such a huge honour to a photographer. To have your peers judge an image and give it an award is incredible. My image of Abi received a Silver Award from the judges, and was then re-judged to be selected from all the entries to be in the top 20. I am so incredibly proud and excited to say the least! So yes, just this once I’m going to shout it out, which for this humble portrait photographer from Melbourne, is a little bit out of character.

Here’s my image of Abi.