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17.05.17

2017 AIPP WA PET / ANIMAL PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR & ORANGUTAN GOES GOLD!

Earlier in the week, the 2017 W.A. Epson Professional Photography Awards (WAEPPA) were held in Perth. The awards run in each state throughout the year and lead up to the national awards in August – effectively the Golden Globes of the Australian professional photography industry, building up to the Oscars.

I entered two categories, ‘Portrait’ and ‘Pet / Animal’, and my hope was to win a silver award or two. My beloved image ‘Orangutan’, soon to be retired from Australian photography competitions, was the highest scoring print in the ‘Pet / Animal’ category and picked up my first ever WAEPPA gold award. I was humbled to also receive another gold award, two silver distinction awards and two silver awards, based on scores out of 100 for my other images (which are embargoed now until the national competition.) These results well exceeded my expectations, especially the gold awards, and I would’ve been more than satisfied if my good fortune had ended there … but the best was yet to come.

Yesterday at the presentation night ‘Orangutan’ was selected by the competition print handlers as their favourite image from 453 entries spread across all categories, and it received the 2017 AIPP WA Print Handler Award. I heard the news while I was thousands of kilometres away in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and I found it hard to comprehend. Could’ve been jet lag, but I knew immediately that this special recognition was something that might not come around again. Thanks so much to the hardworking print handlers!!!

Next I received word that I was a finalist in the ‘Portrait’ category, along with my good mate Steve Wise of 27Creative I Steve Wise. The category was won by the lovely Sarah Adams of Sarah Adams Photography with a meticulous set of beautiful images. Congrats Sarah!

And then the icing on the cake … I was named as the ‘Pet / Animal’ category winner – the 2017 AIPP WA Pet/Animal Professional Photographer of the Year. This is one of the highest accolades of my career and I’m still reeling from the result.

I’d like to extend a thank you to the AIPP, the AIPP WA committee of Steve, Kirsten, Amber, Shaireen, Des and Russell, the volunteers, the print handlers, the category sponsors, and the experienced local, state and international judges, for the time and effort they each invested in the awards. Thanks also to everyone who messaged me with kind congratulations, including several other pet photographers within WA and nationally. Your support means a lot.

The WAEPPA’s are as much about the print quality as the image execution, and a huge thank you goes out to Paul Maietta, Paul Jays and the crew at Fitzgerald Photo Imaging for their meticulous printing of my award images. PJ was instrumental in helping to get my entries across the line and we spent hours discussing each photo. Other staff provided invaluable input on what worked and what didn’t. This was a team effort and I’m so lucky to have the best pro lab in WA on my team.

I’d like to thank Sarah Adams for sitting in on the ‘Pet / Animal’ judging and relaying me my scores, and also for updating me during the awards night. And to Erica Serena from Erica Serena Photographer for advising me to darken up ‘Orangutan’ when she first saw it 8 months ago. It was well heeded advice from an esteemed industry professional.

Thanks also to Shaireen VanTuil, who was deservedly recognised last night for her contribution to the WA photography community. Two years ago I was lamenting to her that I didn’t have anything suitable for the awards, and not having a bar of it, she convinced me that I did. Turns out she was right, and I was just making excuses. Sometimes we are too close to our own work to see it for what it could be.

All of my images were photographed using #Tamron lenses and I’m very appreciative for the ongoing support of Tamron Australia and Tamron Lenses USA. Their super performance series range enables me to capture those millisecond moments and from them, develop the concepts I see in my mind’s eye. I know their lenses inside out and they are an interwoven, integral part of my photography.

And last but not least, I must give thanks to my two biggest supporters – my partner Deb, and my office manager Colleen. They go through every trial and tribulation with me, supporting me 110% and always having my back. Photography might seem like a solo occupation but it’s actually a joint effort on all levels – from business support, to home support, to printing, to trusted advisors, to equipment. None of us is an island. Or something!

Congratulations to Aaron Dowling of Aaron Dowling Photography for being crowned the Professional Photographer Of The Year for the second year running with his ethereal landscape images, and to all of the category winners and finalists. I’m honoured to be in your company and to call many of you my friends. http://stateawards.aipp.com.au/WA/2017-wa-awards

With gratitude,
Alexxx

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17.05.17

CAMERAS HELPING TURTLES!

As our Sri Lanka tour drew to a close, we visited Victor Hasselblad Turtle Conservation Research Center. Supported by camera company Hassleblad (a nice tie in to our photography trip), the centre aims to protect sea turtle eggs and increase hatching rates. Their staff patrol the beach all night looking for mother sea turtles who come out of the ocean to lay their eggs. They protect her during the nesting process, and once she has returned to the sea, they relocate the eggs to the safety of their hatchery.

Since it opened, the centre has released over 3 million baby turtles into the ocean, giving them a greater survival rate than if they were left to fend for themselves. The turtles are released at 3 days old and we saw hundreds of them swimming in their tank, about to embark on the biggest journey of their short lives.

Watching these vulnerable, adorable babies touched our hearts. We worried for them, almost died from the cute of them and wished them safe passage. They made me think of the many creatures who fight hard to survive, either in the harsh domain of nature or from the cruel hand of man. From the smallest to the largest, they all deserve our protection and care … as does our planet as a whole.

These powerful words by Carl Edward Sagan seemed apt.

Farewell Sri Lanka. xx

“Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar”, every “supreme leader”, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.” Carl Edward Sagan

Image taken with #Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 VC lens. Tamron AustraliaTamron Lenses USA Tamron New Zealand World Expeditions Stemish Travels – the elite way to discover Sri Lanka #SpiderHolster #Lacie#OnTourInSriLanka

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22.03.17

SNUFFLEUPAGUS!

We ordered two snuffle food mats from Fabulous Furrballs Jewellery and Pet Accessories for a Cause for our girls Pip the Black Beetle and Pixel … and they loved them. The mats slow down gutsy eaters and provide great mental enrichment. Plus all proceeds go to the animal welfare group of your choice. It’s win win! We opted for our purchase $$ to go to the WA Pet Project as that’s how we found out about this awesome product.

To order a snuffle food mat for your pooch (and to help animals in need) just message Lynne from Fabulous Furrballs or email her at lynnebowes@bigpond.com

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16.03.17

WE NEED YOUR VOTE!

Voting is now open for the Readers’ Choice winner in the Smithsonian Magazine Photography Awards.

Could we trouble you to take a second and VOTE for ‘Orangutan’ in the Altered Images category? To VOTE just click open this link http://bit.ly/2l9Eegw and then click on the VOTE tab on the web page.

Voting is limited to one vote per user per day and runs through March 27th 2017.

Thank you so much! xx

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14.03.17

‘I ride with Chloe to fight dementia’

This is Chloe. Isn’t she the cutest sitting in her dads motorbike helmet! She is 13 years old and has a very special purpose in life – to raise funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s. It is such a big job for such a small gal, but Chloe takes it all in her stride.

Deb and I met Chloe and her wonderful dad, Ken last weekend and when I heard their heartbreaking but hopeful story, I knew I wanted to help them share their message. Ken and Chloe are an amazing team and they have such an incredible bond.

Here is Chloe’s story:

Born on the 14th December 2003 to Maltese and Poodle parents, Chloe was the smallest puppy in her litter and was picked on by her brothers and sisters. In 2004 she was adopted by Ken, Sue and their daughters Bindi, Kylee and Heidi.

It was unknown at the time, but Sue was developing early onset dementia. As Sue slowly forgot all the things she once knew, Ken was very happy that she now had her own little companion to love.

Sue would spend her time playing with Chloe, then walking with Ken and Chloe in the afternoons. Soon Sue’s dementia became critical and she was admitted to hospital. Chloe would go in with Ken to visit her each day and she would charm everyone who met her.

Sadly, Sue did not come home. At just 55 years of age, her life was cut short by her illness. She was a beautiful kind lady who brought joy and love to many people. Her whole family missed her very much. Ken was devastated, but the love from his daughters (including Chloe) kept him from feeling lonely. He spent lots of time with Chloe and found great comfort in her company.

When Ken was young he rode a motorbike and Sue would ride with him. After they got married and had a family, Ken and Sue stopped riding but always said that one day they would travel around Australia on a motorbike.

After Sue died, Ken decided to make their dream of riding around Australia a reality, and purchased a large road bike. Each Sunday he would go for rides but he always regretted leaving Chloe at home – so he devised a way to take her with him. Ken built a special seat for the back of his bike where Chloe now sits, complete with a seat belt, which protects her from the wind … though she does quite like it when her ears flap.

Ken and Chloe have now travelled over 150,000 kilometres together and have visited lots of places in Australia. Sometimes they ride alone and sometimes their friends from the Ulysses Club (an over 40’s motorbike group) ride with them.

After meeting lots of new friends and having them ask how they can assist people with dementia, Ken had the idea to start a charity called ‘I Ride With Chloe to Fight Dementia’. He designed badges, patches and stickers to sell, with the money raised going to Alzheimer’s Australia WA to help them continue their important work.

Please support Ken and Chloe if you can, even in a small way. You can purchase ‘I ride with Chloe to fight dementia’ patches and pins at http://www.iridewithchloe.com/ and follow their adventures on Chloe’s blog http://www.iridewithchloe.com/rides/chloes-australian-rides/

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10.03.17

JOG FOR A DOG!

The fabulous HBF Run for a Reason is back again on Sunday 28th May. Last years event was so much fun and I’m honored to be the Guide Dogs WA ‘Jog For A Dog’ team leader for 2017. But this means I need your help. I would love for you to join me for the event and together we can raise funds for GDWA. Last year we raised enough to train a guide dog puppy!

To register just follow the steps below. The early bird registrations close on March 13th so don’t miss out.

1. Go to https://hbfrun2017.everydayhero.com/…/guide-dog…/get-started to set up your personal fundraising page

2. Register for the event and purchase your ticket at www.hbfrun.com.au

Be sure to list the team name as ‘Jog For A Dog’ and I’m doing the 4km Walk (so select category D if you want to join me or other categories if you want to RUN the course)

3. Reserve your place for post-race refreshments and place your Guide Dogs WA t-shirt order by contacting Lauren at lauren.shepherd@guidedogswa.com.au by 13 March

4. Get your friends together and start fundraising. You can also check out my fundraising page at https://hbfrun2017.everydayhero.com/au/houndstooth-studio

Lets make this the biggest and best team entry yet! #JogForADog

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10.03.17

Peter Alexander Sleepwear

6th March is the 30th Anniversary of Peter Alexander Sleepwear. What an incredible achievement for our leading Australian sleepwear brand, started by Peter on his Mums dining table. We would like to wish everyone at PAS, especially our friend Peter, a very very happy birthday.

We are also thrilled to play a small part in the celebration of this milestone, by photographing two pages for the stunning 30th Birthday Catalogue. Such an honour! Thanks to pooch models Khan and George, and their humans Karen, Lee and Kim for their expert assistance.

View the 30th Birthday range online at http://bit.ly/2luHp2M

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10.03.17

HELP THE HOUNDS!

Earlier this week 22 gorgeous greyhounds were taken in by GreyhoundAngels of Western Australia. Twelve dogs have foster homes but ten of them still need a place to go where they can feel safe and loved.

All of the dogs need items like muzzles, collars, leads, old toys they can learn to play with, bowls, and decent dog kibble. Please contact GreyhoundAngels via private message if you can assist with any of these things. Alternatively, donations to Greyhound Angels will be warmly received to go towards helping the dogs in their care.

Please consider donating if you can. Every bit adds up and every bit helps. Greyhounds are the most maligned dog breed and they need our help and support now more than ever.

You can donate online via PC at http://bit.ly/2mXGPqH or if on a mobile device or tablet via bank transfer at:

GreyhoundAngels
BSB 302162
Account Number 0452619

And because we would never ask you to donate without doing so ourselves, Deb and I have donated $200.

PICTURED: Our beautiful rescued Greyhound Pixel.

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10.03.17

WA CAMERA CLUB 100TH ANNIVERSARY EVENT!

Bookings are now open for the biggest weekend of photographic education and fellowship in WA’s history.

From 23rd to 25th June, the WA Camera Club (WACC) is hosting the West Australian Photographic Federation Inc Nikon Centennial Event 2017 at the Government House Ballroom ballroom in central Perth.

The event, featuring seven top-shelf presenters and two nights of gourmet celebrations, is open to all members of camera clubs affiliated with the WA Photographic Federation.

The occasion acknowledges the host club’s centenary, marking 100 years of popular photography in WA, as represented by the WA camera club movement which has grown to almost 40 affiliated groups.

Major sponsor Nikon is also 100 years old this year and it’s Ambassador, Rocco Ancora, one of Australia’s leading photographers and educators, will be the headline speaker throughout the three-day convention. He has won much acclaim for his ability to capture emotional impact in his images.

Six outstanding Western Australian photographers are presenting a range of talks, workshops and photo excursions for delegates. The presenters, Leah Kennedy, Georgina Steytler, Stan Davies, Alex Cearns, Gerrie Cooney and Richard Harmer, are acclaimed practitioners as well as engaging educators.

The presenters’ panel and the organising committee have selected topics with a difference for the event, ensuring delegates gain new and interesting insights to improve their photographic pursuits.

The cost of attendance is $260 and country members can qualify for a travel subsidy of at least $150, courtesy of Lotterywest.

WACC President Ray Ross says there has never been such a comprehensive program for photographers to learn from experts, share interests and knowledge with others and celebrate what we all love doing over a three-day format.

“The majestic beauty of the heritage ballroom at Government House will be an unforgettable setting for the inter-club event. Simultaneous sessions will give participants multiple choices and the evening functions will deliver polish and class in due recognition of the 100th anniversary.”

Limited to just 200 tickets and booking fast.
For more info or to reserve your place please visit http://bit.ly/2mCqRWK

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03.03.17

Australian of the Year Awards 2017

This is a total stretch but I’m sending appreciative thanks to whoever took the time and effort to nominate me.

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