Tag Archives: award winning baby photography

Babies of 2013

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  To welcome 2014, first meet the gorgeous babies of 2013!

Is it just us or did 2013 fly by!?  A very busy year for the studio!  We saw many clients returning with their newest additions and many new wonderful families!

In March, I entered the WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) 16×20 Photography Competition for the first time, receiving two Silver with Distinctions and a GOLD!  At the AIPP APPA awards, receiving a Silver with Distinction.  At the Awards night received Associateship with the AIPP, and later in 2013 received Associates Honour with the WPPI.

2013 also saw Alex officially joining Iris Creations as a photographer on weddings, and soon will be expanding our wedding packages to include Videography!  So stay tuned!  Now it’s his turn to start the awards circuit, and plans to get his Associates with the AIPP quicker than me. ;)

And here we are in January, and already this year is flying by!  A few announcements to start the year..

in 2014 Iris Creations will be officially operating on PART TIME hours.  The office and studio will be open and available Wednesday & Fridays and selected weekends for sessions.  Therefore it is advised to book sessions as soon as possible!  Pricing for 2014/2015 Wedding Packages is available, and can be downloaded HERE.

Portrait Session pricing available HERE.

To stay up-to-date with news and announcements, and of course previews please be sure to ‘LIKE’ our facebook page HERE.

All the best for the new year!  Stay safe and have a wonderful summer!

x Gemma

2013 AIPP Canon APPA Awards

What a weekend.  I feel I’m still exhausted!  If you don’t know about the APPA awards, they are an annual event via the AIPP.  The Australian Professional Photography Awards.  2013 marked my third year in entering, this year into the “Family” category.

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”.

For a little introduction about the AIPP & the APPA awards, please enjoy this video, which gives a great introduction into the process!  (and at 2:20, you may see yours truly admiring an image on the presentation walls!)

The 2013 Canon AIPP APPA from AIPP TV on Vimeo.

I entered four images and THRILLED to have received a SILVER with DISTINCTION for one of my favorite client images taken in the last 12 months.  At this session, I started dreaming about this image as an award print, when my client brought out the most gorgeous baby blanket.  I instantly knew how I wanted to photograph this gorgeous brand new baby.  I named the image “Tree of Life”.

I was also VERY excited to be awarded with my Associateship this year at the Presentation Gala (AKA the photography industries “Oscars”)  It was so exciting, especially to be receiving the medal at the same time as so many of my close photographer friends, and even more exciting when some had to dash off to receive a second AIPP Honours, their “Master of Photography”.

As I mentioned last year in my post about the 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.”

This is one of the reasons that photographers from all over Australia jump in the car for a roadtrip, or a plane to get to the party quicker and it’s a long weekend of catching up (most of the time for the first time since last year’s awards), celebrating and letting the hair down!

To my colleagues, friends old & brand new… thanks for sharing this amazing weekend with Alex & I, once again it’s been a weekend to remember!  Til next year;)

Babies of 2012 | Melbourne Baby Photography

2012, what a year! In fact I feel a little exhausted thinking back on it and have been looking forward to 2013.  I feel this is THE YEAR.  Many of my gorgeous family and friends feel the same way, there’s something in the air and I feel this year is going to be the best ever!

Without dwelling, 2012 also had so many amazing moments. Iris Creations moved into a gorgeous new studio, and on the Photography Awards front; whilst unexpected, did extremely well, and finished off the year as a Major Open Finalist in the People & Portrait category in the International Loupe Awards.  (5th place to be exact!)

And of course, my clients.  I have met so many GORGEOUS new little souls, who I’ve been blessed to photograph.  I used to joke about being the Melbourne Newborn Baby BOY photographer.  However 2012 saw 90% (maybe even 98%!) girls!  What’s in the water!??

So without further ado, meet the Babies of 2012!

I hope you enjoy x

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.