I created these images, part of a larger series, to highlight the overwhelming quantities of discarded plastics that are polluting and choking our oceans. I hope exposure surrounding the AOP awards will help highlight the issue, and I am pleased to see there is already coverage on the BBC website and in today’s Guardian.
Meanwhile my thanks to Art Buyer & Creative Producer Kathy Howes who judged the Still Life & Object category and chose my series, and Creative Director Geoff Waring for encouraging me to explore my ideas in still life. As photographers we generally and naturally fall into shooting a particular genre. I am known for photographing people and therefore feel a greater achievement to have my work appreciated across genres.
On a final note, apparently I am the first woman to be a two times recipient of an AOP gold, which makes me extra proud.
A letter from the Executive Director of the Association of Photographers
The AOP is a trade association for everyone working in creative image-making. It has worked hard over the years to ensure that legislation and guidance in the areas of workplace best practice and copyright have always put the rights of the individual creator firmly at the centre.
We do not tolerate discrimination in any form and have been working to ensure that our members and team represent the world in which we work, in all its diversity.
We want to ensure that people from the BAME community feel part of us and our industry. We can, and always will, strive to do better, and we welcome any input from individuals and groups within these communities on how to address their needs and ensure representation within our sector and organisation at all levels.
To help further this process we will be launching a platform for those within our BAME membership to help us inform the organisation’s future and to ensure no one is exposed to racism, discrimination or barriers in any way. Similar to the f22Women in Photography group, it is hoped that this will be one of the many positive ways we can help address the imbalances to access and achievement within our sector.
If you would like to be involved in this group and help progress this work please contact me email@example.com
Many thanks for your continued support
Seamus McGibbon Executive Director
Membership of the AOP is open to all photographers. There are varying categories of membership, and the Access Membership scheme for emerging and established photographers is currently being offered FREE for three months during the Coronavirus crisis.
The AOP are continuing to monitor all genuine and verified sources of information and have created a dedicated web page where you can find up-to-date information and guidance from the government as well as lots of other relevant sources.
In addition to giving members a three month subscription holiday, the AOP are also offering FREE Access Membership from now until the end of June, after which you can stay on as a member. Use the code COMMUNITY.
LOBBYING & CAMPAIGNING ACTIVITY
The AOP has been lobbying and campaigning hard on behalf of their freelance and self-employed members, and together with the British Photographic Council a package of support is being discussed, debated and fast-tracked through Parliament as part of the Coronavirus Bill. More updates to come on this.
I hope this information may be helpful in these extraordinary times. For more updates from the AOP please checkout their twitter feed.
NEWS FEATURE FROM THE ASSOCIATION OF PHOTOGRAPHERSWe talk to Wendy Carrig who won a Gold in the 2019 Awards. Wendy, a
long term member, has been instrumental in reinstating the f22 group -
Women Photographers at the AOP. Read more to find out about her winning
image and the overall impact her continued involvement with the Awards
has had on her career.
Tell us more about your Selected image and the story behind it?This image forms part of a series of fashion portraits of photographer,dog hotelier and ex-model Liddie Holt, taken at her home in Somerset.This was a personal collaborative project that was later accepted forpublication.Can you tell us something surprising about the image?There were a number of dogs on set that day including dachshunds Ernieand Vincent; and a gentlemen of a Giant Irish Wolfhound called big Ron.It was also my assistant’s birthday, but she didn’t tell us! So a bigshout out to superwoman Julie Stewart!What impact has being a gold winner in last year’s awards had on your career? Winning GOLD was euphoric and surreal, and I even received two new workcommissions the day after the Awards ceremony. I’ve since been invitedto speak at a number of photography colleges; and I am currently enjoyingjudging SUN#31 the Shot Up North Photography Awards. Winning increasesprofile and confidence, and gives conformation that the work we createis enjoyed and appreciated. It has spurred me on to explore differentareas of photography and always challenge the perceived limits of myown creativity.What does the AOP do for you? The first year I set up on my own as a photographer I joined AFAEP andwas very pleased to have an image accepted into the Awards. That yearthe Awards ceremony was held at London’s Cafe Royal and my work andname was put in front of an amazing audience of high profile clientsand art directors. This type of exposure was a massive springboard intothe industry for me (possibly even more so in the days before socialmedia) and helped to immediately establish my career.This year Iwas pleased to be involved in the relaunch of f22, the AOP women’sphotography group. We aim to support AOP women photographers at allstages of their career and challenge the continuing gender inequalitywithin our industry.Have you got any advice for photographers considering entering the next awards? Be original. Be brave. If you are not sure whether to enter your workshow it to your colleagues or share it on social media to help gaugeresponse, but make your own decisions. Take responsibility for and beproud of the work you have created.And women photographers, if we all enter at least one more image thanwe did last year we could help make a difference to the gender imbalanceat the Awards, the AOP and the wider photographic industry.Good luck to all!
Portrait of model Liddie Holt with her friend Vincent the Daschund
I am truly delighted to receive a prestigious Association of Photographers'
The AOP Awards are generally acknowledged as the photography BAFTAs and
gold is their highest accolade. There is no given with a gold; some years
there are none awarded, it is simply at the discretion of the judges.
This year there were eight golds and two of them went to women photographers,
this ratio reflecting the current statistics of women photographers working
within our industry.
I received my award in the Fashion & Beauty category, and my fellow female
awardee is the talented Tina Hillier for her Documentary series.
Click to see all of this year's finalists.
My thanks to all of the team who worked on this story with me: Art Director
Jo Bell, Stylist Maria Francolini, Hair & makeup Lizzie Court, Photo Assistant
Julie Stewart and of course Liddie Holt & Vincent(pictured) and Forever
Young magazine for publishing.
Although the nature of our industry has changed in recent years as traditional
magazines disappear from the newsstands, it is our love of photography
that continues to fire our passion to create what we always hope will
be beautiful, memorable imagery.
Pictured with me above are my friend and talented art director Jo Bell, and
also my wonderful and supportive agents Anita Grossman & Rosie Harrison
of A&R CREATIVE who have been representing me a record-breaking twenty five years!
Massive thanks to Clara Mercer from the British Fashion Council who judged
my category and chose my winning picture! And to Seamus, Rachel, Nick and all
team AOP for putting on a cracking show at the East Wintergarden, Canary Wharf.
See you all next year!
p.s. The exhibition showing all 200+ Awards finalists is still on show
at One Canada Square until the end of May and, as overheard at the Awards
party, "I've just seen the exhibition and was surprised at how much better
the pictures looked in print than on my screen." Now there's an idea...
For more photography by Wendy Carrig please visit her website