That time I Won Australian Illustrative Photographer of the year not once... but TWICE in a row

Holy freaking moley! What an INCREDIBLE week it has been. For those not in the know the past 7 days I have been on one incredible photographic pilgrimage to the motherland of photography - the Australian Professional Photography Awards (APPA) and The Nikon Event - both events together is called Incite.

Below is a bit of a video about whats involved, Plus a hilarious cameo with me at the end...

 

This time last year I treated myself to a tattoo - it was very simply an image of the first piece of art I ever sold, with the words under it "Go home"

I got it because I had just won the Australian Illustrative Photographer of the year for 2015

Fresh tattoo of "Go Home" thanks to the lovely folk at Wolf and Wren

Fresh tattoo of "Go Home" thanks to the lovely folk at Wolf and Wren

 

And I needed that tattoo - I needed it because I can tell you guys right now I did not feel like I deserved that title.

 

And what "Go Home" means to me - well its a philosophy I have learned to base my entire life on. It means - no matter what happens, no matter who you meet or where you go, no matter what good or bad or in between goes down - always go home. It could be the worst day ever, it could be the best day ever. It's my job to find my way home. This idea is based off a gorgeous Elizabeth Gilbert TED talk



 And home for me isn't a house, those who know me know I have never had a solid family or home base. For me - like Guilbert, home is the thing you love more than you love yourself. The thing you do regardless of anything else going on. For me thats art. Home for me is sketchbooks and drawings, concepts and ideas, nerdy nights in front of screens and beauty. Always beauty.

 

This year I had the pleasure of winning Australian Illustrative Photographer of the year for the SECOND year running. Guys - I was blown away the first time, but to have retained that title - I am completely humbled. I'm humbled because this is the title that so many photographers I grew up loving, have won before me.

 

I was also a judge this year - and for a moment I want to talk about the extreme privilege that was. Those who know my life, know where I come from, know the awkwardness I always feel deep down inside, know how often I ask myself "Do I belong here?" "Do I deserve this?" - you will know I never pictured myself being ANY of this. I never thought for a second I was allowed the privilege of a voice let alone a voice worth listening to. This year I sat on panels with photographers I had looked up to for many years. Masters, Grand Masters - all these folks I had been staring at in the pages of the APPA books my entire photographic life. Somehow I was sitting there with them - my ideas thoughts and opinions on images as equal to theirs as theirs was to me. It was a big deal - and I have learned so much from their vision and thought processes over the week.

 

But man was it overwhelming. My gosh was it scary to sit next to them and have to say why I felt how I felt about images. It takes so much guts and vulnerability to be up on that panel. To be watched by people all over the world and to have to stand up for every thought process you have whilst there. I kept asking myself "do you belong?" and the answer always was - "it doesn't matter... Go home" - and if home is loving images and loving art - if I choose to live there and speak from that place of love - then there is absolutely no disputing I belong. And I found out over the days - I did belong - and that feeling was pretty cool.

 

I came home with a pretty full heart. With deeper friendships with my AIPP friends and family than ever before. I feel at peace - something I can tell you last year I did not feel.

 

I came home feeling the deepest sense of belonging I have ever felt. You can hear me talk a little about it in this video: https://www.facebook.com/AIPPOfficial/videos/10154025023228687/

 

So here's to another year I wasn't expecting on the roller coaster of having this title. Heres to a year of having it, and feeling as if maybe just a little - I might have earned it. I have learned so much since last year - and I cannot wait to report back in another year with everything I have learned.

OH! And I got my Master of photography! You can now call me Gee Greenslade MPhotog. I HAVE LETTERS AFTER MY NAME GUYS!!!!

Me after getting my Masters with the ever so glorious Chris and Wanda - two of my favourite people to catch up with at APPA

Me after getting my Masters with the ever so glorious Chris and Wanda - two of my favourite people to catch up with at APPA

OH! And I got my Master of photography! You can now call me Gee Greenslade MPhotog. I HAVE LETTERS AFTER MY NAME GUYS!!!!

Thankyou to every human being who has played a part in this. To the folks who helped my rush around driving prints everywhere and supporting me whilst I was stressing. To my printers, to the people who sell this work and support it. To my beautiful models in this work, My sister Moira, my other sister from another mister Rachael and the incredibly beautiful Braeda.

 

Guys you are loved. So... very... loved.

Below is a bunch of the images I entered. If you are interested in purchasing any of them pop on over to http://delaliff.com/collections/gee-greenslade

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