One weekend last month I found myself bawling my eyes out as I judged the IPA One Shot photo contest. I had to have serious time out to regain my composure.
All up I, and I presume all the other jurors, judged at least 599 entries (yes, I counted them) depicting ‘Our times- Pandemic Perspectives’.
This is the single image contest IPA run every year so there was no opportunity to show multiple images. One hero shot had to do the job.
There was a description too, which in most cases I read because the shots were so moving. I wanted to know- did she survive? Did he make it in time? Did they recover? Or: This is interesting- I want to know more.
A good shot draws us in, then has us asking questions.
I noticed that the most powerful ones honed in on a particular person or moment. This brings the viewer deeply into the story, and engages us more. If you try to show it all, we sometimes don’t know where to look.
The category that turned me into a blubbing mess was ‘Heroes of the Pandemic’. How could I not be moved by the imagery I was seeing of humanity at it’s very best? As in movies, it’s ideal to get to know the hero.
Finally, if it was a choice between a straight forward documentation or an emotionally moving image- the latter won.
I want to thank all the photographers out there for the work you’ve found the courage to make over the past 18 months.
For sharing your experiences, whether it was inner turmoil communicated conceptually, risking your own life at the coalface of the pandemic, or making us laugh.
It’s all valid.
And if it helps just one more person understand the plight of another, even yours, you’ve potentially changed at least another life.
What a hero you are.
If you’d like help assessing your most heroic work, you can book a call with me here to discuss options.