I am both extremely giddy and incredibly humbled to share that two of my images, i.e. "Contrived" and "Trust Exercise", received Silver Awards in the recent Portrait Masters Image Awards for 2020.
The Portrait Masters Awards and Accreditation program was created to allow Sue Bryce Education members to submit their work to be judged by a panel of international expert judges for a chance to win prizes, accreditation points, and awards. To give you an idea, here is the descriptions of what each award signifies:
BRONZE MERIT High professional standard of technique and communication.
SILVER MERIT Exemplary execution of technique and visual presentation.
GOLD MERIT Excellence in all technical fields with outstanding creative communication and narrative.
I have entered The Portrait Masters Image Awards a number of times since it opened for submissions in 2017. I am thrilled to have received a number of Bronze Awards (now 11 in total), but this was the first time my images received the Silver Award. It is quite humbling to realise that in this round, 11,015 images were submitted, with only 5 achieving Gold Awards and 340 achieving Silver Awards!
While the main focus of The Portrait Masters is on genres such as contemporary portraits, newborn and maternity portraits, family, pet, and boudoir portraits, i.e. typically portraits created for a client, it does also have a very strong creative portrait category. The creative portrait category allows composited/manipulated images - a fine-art portrait that has a unique theme or style including fantasy and composite. So although I am a photographer that focuses solely on fine art work (and for the most part, only creates self-portraits), i.e. I do not do any client work at all, this is a really valuable opportunity to have my work reviewed and measured on such a high and respected international level. Every image submitted (yes, all 11,015 of them!) was judged by 5 masters independently of each other and anonymously. This kind of level of review/measurement is not easy to come by in South Africa. At least, it is certainly not easily affordable with our painful South African Rand exchange rate.
I must admit, I nearly did not submit my work for this round. While the submission fee of $20 per image is certainly great value, at an exchange rate of around R15/US$1 (at the time), it was something to seriously consider. I also kept pondering and re-pondering which image/s I should submit and so kept putting it off. Which also made me doubt myself and whether my work was worthy of submission. I am certainly glad I found the courage and bit the bullet in the end to submit :)
In the round, I also submitted a third image, "Collateral Damage" and it received a Bronze Award.