Category Archives: Studio News

Studio News!

I cannot believe it’s already half way into July, honestly where has 2012 gone!?

If you follow Iris Creations on Facebook, then you’ll know that we have been busy, busy moving the office and studio.  It’s been a huge process, and we are slowing finding our way out of the boxes and chaos!  The new space is absolutely GORGEOUS!  And I cannot wait for the first newborn photography session to be held here!

I would like to thank all my wonderful clients for their patience (and best wishes) during this last minute decision to re-locate, we will be back to official business next week.  Of course there are many more exciting times ahead, Iris Creations is having a make-over and I hope this new look will be unveiled very very soon!

As a post would not be the same without an image, here’s a photo of some gorgeous “homecoming” flowers given to me!

Happy Thursday Everyone! x

baby photography studio in point cook, melbourne

2012 Australian Professional Photography Awards

Being a photographer can be a pretty lonely and isolating existence. After photographing our gorgeous subjects there are hours and hours spent in an office alone working on a computer, and catching up on administration and other tasks. Working in a creative field by oneself there is no one to bounce ideas off or to chat with in the tea room on a break.

So when the ‘Digital Expo’ (PMA) hits town photographers from all over the country board a plane and this year they invaded Melbourne. At the same time the AIPP (Australian Institute of Professional Photography) holds the Canon Australian Professional Photography Awards (also known as APPAs).

Entering the Awards is not an easy thing. It’s not a case of picking a couple of images and sending them in. The quality of work and the creative process is mind-blowing and can take a whole year’s worth of planning, shooting, creating and printing.  The prints then sit in the judging rooms for three long days as a panel of judges deliberate over more than 3,000 entries from all over the world.  Like all creatives, I have found myself in a “rut”.  Where to move forward?  Am I still producing the work my clients want – and that I want?  Pushing yourself to be better, create something new is a part of the process and something that entering awards and dreaming up personal projects helps with.

About a year ago, a photographer asked who I was. I told him my name. He asked what I did. I proudly responded with “I’m a baby photographer”.  He rolled his eyes.  I quickly added “But I started on film and photographing bands”.  To which I got the response “You should lead with that.”  I was a little dumbfounded.  Really? Why?  I don’t photograph bands much anymore, and whilst it’s still a passion of mine, it’s not the core of my business or my creativity.  I’m proud of what I do.  I have started from very little and now have a fantastic business which is like another baby for me.

Recently clients of mine said to me with teary eyes “Wow, Gemma, you’ve been here for every major moment in our lives, you’re like family now”.  Their wedding day, whilst they were excitedly awaiting the birth of their first child, and that amazing moment when they brought their beautiful new baby to the studio.  It’s those session that go for HOURS simply because I become like a new aunt and want to cradle their baby for ever!  I’m too busy ooo’ing and ‘ahhh’ing!  Isn’t this what it’s all about?

So back to the Awards. A little background about what all this is about.  Each print is judged by 5 judges.  They enter a score out of 100.  Those scores get averaged out and produce a final score.  80-84 is Silver, 85-89 Silver with Distinction, 90-94 Gold and 95-100 Gold with Distinction.  Scores over 78 earn you points which, over time, qualify you for Honours status within the AIPP, Associate, Master of Photography and of course Grand Master of Photography.  The highest scoring photographers within each category at the Awards win the category for example “Australian Portrait Photographer of the Year” and from there comes the prestigious “Australian Photographer of the Year”.

Awards are a bit of a contradiction for me.  We creatives are a little sensitive about our work.  Part of our soul goes into every image we produce, so putting this forward to be judged is a very nerve-wracking process.  What if the judges (who are the best photographers in this country) don’t like it?  What if I’ve got this wrong!?  But sitting in that room, with the award-winning prints displayed around you is a feeling I really can’t put in words.  Inspiring, electrifying, and a sense of inclusion.  Then when your print comes up, the heart races.  Anxiety kicks in.  The judges walk up, look at every aspect of the image.  And they always seem to linger longer when it’s your own print up there!  Then they sit down and we stare at the screen waiting for the scores.  One comes up, then another, until there are five scores.  And FOUR times weekend before last, that process happened, and the smile formed, the sense of “OH WOW!”  I just won SILVER.

And then your print goes on that amazing wall with the others.  Next to your friend’s print, to your photography hero’s print.  THAT emotion I cannot put into words.  After my fourth print was judged I had to walk out of the Exhibition Centre.  I called my best friend and burst into tears.  Not only had I won four Silvers from four entries, I gained my Associate Delegate Status within the AIPP, in my first real year of entering the APPAs (I did enter last year, and won a Silver, however the process was much different …. and I had something else on my mind at the time, I was in Europe!)

Associate Delegate status means I have qualified for the status with points, however I don’t receive it until I have been a Full Accredited Member for two years.  This will click over in February next year.

My life has changed a lot this year, and there’s more changes to come, personally and professionally. Iris Creations is getting a makeover, getting ready for some exciting new adventures..

Without sounding like an acceptance speech I really do wish to thank and acknowledge some people who have helped me grow professionally with their amazing dedication, wisdom and plain awesomeness!

Katie.. you inspire me every day – your advice, guidance and support means the world to me..
Janet.. words cannot describe our friendship, you know ;)  My photography sister x
Kris & Netra.. my dream team;)
Ev.. without that early morning trip to the beach I would never appreciate patience, the beauty of simplicity, or just landscape photography in general;)
Mandy.. You are an amazing person…
Chrissy.. your wisdom blows me away!
Bianca.. for reminding me that patience and consistency are a beautiful thing,
Dan & Samm .. Thankyou for re-igniting my passion to create, to dream up bigger and better things, moreso the confidence to be true to myself.
My best friend Monique.. Without you, there would be no Iris.
And Amanda.. My journey past, present and the future would not be the same without you.

Finally to every soul I have ever photographed, thankyou for allowing me into your lives at such precious moments.

And my two amazing little boys. Mummy loves you very very much xx

Silver with Distinction Award |Portrait Category | 2012 Epson Victorian Photographer of the Year Awards
Silver Award |Portrait Category | 2012 Canon Australian Professional Photography Awards

Silver Award |Portrait Category | 2012 Epson Victorian Photographer of the Year Awards
Silver Award |Portrait Category | 2012 Canon Australian Professional Photography Awards

Silver Award |Portrait Category | 2012 Epson Victorian Photographer of the Year Awards
Silver Award |Portrait Category | 2012 Canon Australian Professional Photography Awards

Silver Award |Portrait Category | 2012 Epson Victorian Photographer of the Year Awards
Silver Award |Portrait Category | 2012 Canon Australian Professional Photography Awards

Silver Award |Family Category | 2012 Epson Victorian Photographer of the Year Awards
(Not entered into APPA’s)

2012 Victorian Professional Photography Awards

Around two weeks ago my best friend and her family visited from Brisbane.  Since we are forever visiting each other for family style events, we were determined this time to go on a little adventure.  So we booked a divine BnB just outside Daylesford.  Open fire, millions and millions of trees, a little wooden dragon that my little Ash insisted on feeding rice crackers to every evening and, more importantly, the two families together.

However on the Monday, I was a little distracted from the beauty of our surroundings as I desperately hoped to watch the live streaming of the judging the 2012 Epson AIPP Victorian Professional Photography Awards.  Slight little problem.  I had NO SERVICE on my Iphone, or the Ipad!

Off I went a little further up the hill and happily found 3 bars of 3G service.  So there I sat, on a blue towel, creating a little picnic and waited.  I’m sure I looked rather odd to the many trucks and tractors that ventured down the country road….

(My picnic on the side of a dirt road, in Daylesford | Taken with Instagram on the Iphone 4 | A rather beautiful view I must say!)


After around two hours we ventured into Daylesford, visiting the Convent for lunch and the Botanical Gardens for a play.  A beautiful afternoon with the children being really really good.

We then stopped at the supermarket for BBQ supplies.  All with the iPad on the arm watching the judging.  My heart would practically stop as my images appeared on the screen.  In fact we all stopped wherever we were that day, and we adults pored over the wonderful device that is the iPad and listened watched.

Our last stop was to buy champagne!!  I am utterly thrilled and excited to announce that of the four images I entered into the Portrait Category, 3 won Silver awards, and my final print a Silver with Distinction!  I also received a Silver award in the new Family Category.

I choose to enter the awards, not to lose hair every year(!), but to push myself creatively and take the opportunity to have my work judged by some of the leading names in the industry both in Australia and overseas.  Australia really does have the most amazing photographic talent, and I’m honoured to have received awards judged by some of these brilliant artists.

The AIPP Australian Professional Photography Awards will be held in Melbourne in May, so I will be sharing my full portfolio after this.  However would like to thank my fabulous friends in the industry for their advice and support as well as the beautiful subjects of the prints!  I will leave you with this print, which won a Silver in the Family Category.

Wedding Photography | S & T

Iris Creations Photography is very excited to announce that as of 2012, weddings are now officially part of our studio’s offerings.  Whilst Storytellers is not moving, it is a simple move to provide a consistent service and availability to our clients.  Having photographed weddings for over 6 years, Gemma has traveled around Australia, co-photographed with some amazing photographers and witnessed gorgeous couples start their lives together.

Our packages at Iris Creations are custom designed to suit every wedding, and the individual needs of each Bride & Groom, from cocktail style events, to destination weddings or even elopements around Australia.  Every wedding is special and our service will be dedicated to telling the story of YOUR day, showcasing the happiest day of your life for generations to come.  For more information about wedding photography packages please visit the website HERE or contact Gemma.

This stunning couple recently got married at Overnewton Castle, and what a beautiful fairytale day it was!  There were tears of joy, and I’m not sure I saw this beautiful bride without a glowing smile on her face for the entire day!  Congratulations to you both, every detail was just perfect, the way you’d planned!

(Fancy a fun way to photograph your guests?  A personalised ‘photobooth’ designed around your personality & wedding can be arranged)

thePROJECT | Simplicity Sessions

I know I’m not the only adult that says this, in fact we all say this.  ”When did the years start going by so quickly?!”  As a child, the school year would go on, and on, and on.  But as we grow up, all of a sudden we are putting the Christmas tree away then what seems like the next day getting it out again.  Only this time there are a few cobwebs on the box.

At the start of the year I sent my eldest son off on his new big adventure.  School.  Prep.  And just moments ago, his last day of Prep.  Sure I’ve had a rather eventful year, but I honestly don’t know how this year has gone by so quickly!

I look at these two photos and it’s photographically obvious how much children change in the space of a year, and therefore how important photography is.  Every year I do a personal project, thePROJECT, taking a photo each day of my children.  Last year it was every day of summer, however this year I will be sticking to January.  It doesn’t have to be an award winning portrait.  It could be taken on the iPhone (and once or twice last year it was!)  But I encourage everyone to take up a challenge, if you have children, a growing belly, or even a goldfish!  At the end of the month, you have a fantastic visual story to tell!

Comparing these two images the year floods back to me, and how much my son has achieved.  He overcame nervousness of school, self-doubt that he “just can’t do it” and is now writing sentances, asking me mathematical questions and has been referred to as a “sociable butterfly”.    But more importantly I see how much he’s changed & grown.

As a primarily newborn & baby photography studio, we meet so many families at the beginning of their families journey, and it’s hard to not want to witness every new chapter, the children growing, playing with their siblings, and of course, documenting this for the generations to come.

From 2012 Iris Creations Photography will be offering ‘Simplicity’ sessions.  These sessions are designed for our clients, and new clients to have professional photographs taken of their family, without the need for a formal ‘sitting’.  Once you baby is walking, taking, the idea of being inside a studio becomes a little boring (for them at least!).  Simplicity sessions will be held at various times of the year, outdoors, and are designed to update the family photographs.  They are shorter sessions, lasting around 15-30 minutes, enough time to have fun, get some wonderful images and more importantly hold even the shortest of attention spans!

Family photography should not be a hassle, it should not be daunting, it should be fun, and something that is fantastic to do on a regular basis.

For more information on Simplicity sessions, and to register your interest for our first event in February 2012, please contact us via the tab above or by clicking HERE.