Each year they run several print-based photography competitions to engage its members, and even though online, they still managed to announce the AIPP Silver Lining Awards for 2020. The whole idea was to implement several initiatives to make an educational, motivational, and inspirational experience for everyone who was involved.
Participants were first invited to submit pre-entry images that were evaluated by an expert panel of judges. And then, the feedback was used to continue their entries. AIPP organized the competition in two broad categories, creative and classic, and lastly, they created a Student and Newcomer category to promote entries from all levels of expertise.
“The idea was, quite literally, to create a ‘silver lining’ out of the current situation,” explains Tony Hewitt, who is Chair of the AIPP Awards Committee. “We wanted not only to give members a creative outlet at a time when many wouldn’t have much work but also make the whole experience much more beneficial professionally for everybody who entered. At the same time, we wanted everybody to have a bit of fun. And it worked brilliantly; the response has been massive with 3,000 entries, from which we selected 300 semi-finalists and then 120 finalists, 10 in each of the six categories.”
As much fun as the competition is, the participation is rewarded from a $45,000 prize pool, and given innovative prizes like workshops and mentoring sessions. AIPP was a great motivation for these photographers to stay involved, and those prizes will definitely come in handy especially during this pandemic time when a lot of them will be out of their jobs.