Click here to view in browser
Welcome to this week's updates for the AOP Student Awards!
Read on for an interview with Karl Taylor (Student Awards judge for 'Things' category), a chance to win studio and tech hire up to £1000 at Holborn Studios, and info on the upcoming Instagram Takeovers.
Category Focus - 'Things'
This week we are going to put focus on one of the Student Award categories; 'Things'.

Think objects, products, flora, fauna, still life... Remember, we can be as flexible as you need us to be for each category.

And who better to answer some questions about the awards than Karl Taylor, category judge and professional photographer with an extensive still life and object photography portfolio.

©Sian Oliver, Best in Category - Things
Why are you looking forward to judging the 'Things' category?

Judging photography competitions is always very challenging and exciting. It provides a great opportunity to gauge the standard of work out there and I’m particularly excited because this competition is aimed at students and is fairly ambiguous with the brief. As such I’m hoping to see fresh and inventive material that holds my attention but still encapsulates the theme.
The category ‘Things’ is obviously open to a lot of interpretation but I think it’s important that the images I see remain on theme and make me feel emotionally connected to it. I’m looking to feel something from the images whatever that ‘Thing’ might be.

Images both © Karl Taylor
What do you think makes for a good image within the 'Things' category?

For the viewer and as with any good image it has to do two things, one it has to hold their attention for long enough that it can be deemed an interesting image and two it has to connect emotionally. These are always the elements of a successful image.
There are many ways those two ideals can be brought together, it can be that the content is naturally visually interesting or unusual or it can be that the choice of composition, subject and the use of light invokes an emotion that the viewer can relate to. Either one can contribute to a good image but when you have both then it usually results in a great image.

What have you learned from entering photography awards and competitions in the past?

An image just feels right or it feels wrong, however with a competition the photographer is effectively working to a brief, just like I do with advertising clients. With that in mind then the photographer needs to interpret the ‘brief’ correctly or in this case the category ‘Things’ because the category is an influencing factor on the images score from the judges perspective. For example it wouldn’t be my first choice to enter a pure landscape or portrait image into a category ’Things’ unless there was a clever interpretation of the theme that the judge could recognise in the image. And as obvious as that sounds it is important to remember that the judges may be looking for that narrative as well as interest and emotion in the image.

© Karl Taylor
Is there a piece of advice that you wish someone had told you sooner in your photography career?

Pay far more attention to understanding and interpreting light than you first think. When I first started my career in photography I was aware of good light and bad light but at that time I was working as a photojournalist and I thought it was all about the ‘moment’. As my career moved on I came to realise the importance of the human emotional response to light. As such it is something that I have spent years trying to perfect and study to improve my own images, and in 25 years as a photographer it is only in the last 10 years that I think I’ve really started to understand light in a way that I’m satisfied.

And finally, do you have any advice for someone who isn't sure whether they should enter?

You have to just go for it, there isn’t really any losers in doing so as the experience of entering and trying to find the perfect image can only be beneficial. Winning an important competition is obviously a huge accolade but it’s entering and shooting that actually teaches you something about yourself.

Enter the Student Awards

**Win studio and tech hire up to the value of £1000**

If you enter the AOP Student Awards any time from today until midnight on 28th February 2017, you will automatically be entered into our prize draw to win!
AOP Photographer Rene van der Hulst has generously donated his AOP Awards prize to the Student Awards for a student to win! 
The winner will be notified via email and announced on social media in early March.

Don't forget that if you are an AOP Student member, you enjoy the discounted rate of entry!

The three categories this year are People, Places & Things.

Full award information and entry details can be found here.
Got your images ready? Enter them here.

A huge thanks to Rene and Holborn Studios who have made this incredible prize possible!

Check out Holborn Studios here!
© Jo Cock, 2016 Best in Show

Instagram Takeovers!

Our upcoming Instagram takeovers:

18th - 20th Feb      Jo Cock (2016 Best in Show)
24th - 26th Feb      Callum Beaney
2nd - 4th Mar         Megan Wilson-De La Mare  
Follow us!

Instagram @assocphoto
Twitter @AssocPhoto
Facebook /AssociationOfPhotographers
Don't Forget! Lecturer and Course of the Year Awards

If you are a student of one of our AOP affiliated courses, you can make nominations for lecturer and course of the year. This is a great chance to highlight a particular staff member who has gone above and beyond in the department, and to get your course the recognition it deserves!

Full criteria and how to nominate can be found here under the 'Categories' heading.
Keep planning, keep shooting, and keep uploading!

Jemma Ridyard
Events & Marketing Administrator
           facebook     Twitter      Google+      vimeo      Website
Copyright © 2015, The Association of Photographers, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
The Association of Photographers
Studio 9
Holborn Studios
49/50 Eagle Wharf Road
N1 7ED

unsubscribe from this list