The British Institute of Professional Photography held its awards evening to announce the winners of its National Print Competition 2021 on the 25th of November.
Running in conjunction with the BIPP’s 120th-anniversary celebration, the event, held in the eloquent Spring Groves House in West Midlands, invited photographers and trade professionals from across the industry together to reveal this year’s winners.
The globally recognised competition operates via a two-tier judging system that starts with digital photograph submissions that filter the highest-scoring images into the final round of printed submissions.
Held in the BIPP’s head office, The Artistry House, the print round of the competition that decides the winning photographs ran over ten rigorous hours full of debate and analysis from judges Hon FBIPP Sean Conboy, ABIPP Rebecca Lane, FBIPP Paul Wilkinson, ABIPP Karen Massey and ABIPP Natalie Martin.
There was one winner chosen across the categories of fine art, portrait, commercial and wedding, along with an overall BIPP Photographer of the Year selected.
Overall BIPP Photographer of the Year & Portrait Photographer of the Year: FBIPP Gary Hill
Image title: Shane
Gary says: ‘It was so good to join the BIPP at the Photography Show this year. Such a great organisation with a depth of talent amongst its members. I entered the National Awards, like most without a clue how the images would do. I entered five, and all five got through to the finals, which I was happy with. That in itself was achievement enough amongst my peers. To find out I had won Portrait Photographer of the Year was a fantastic feeling, it being ‘my’ genre as such. To then find out I had won overall was gobsmacking, a true honour. I would like to thank the judges, the BIPP and my Print Lab, Digitalab, for the quality of the prints. Slowly getting used to the title, which is a real privilege. ‘
Fine Art Photographer of the Year: FBIPP Paul Reiffer
Image title: Patience
Paul says: “It’s incredible to think that my work has been recognised in this way, especially this year.
In what’s been one of the most challenging periods of time for the wider photographic industry, I’m one of many who found we could no longer rely on travel in order to produce new images. As a community, however, we’re resilient – and we’ve each found new ways to present fresh work to audiences around the world.
To be awarded the Fine Art Photographer of the Year for my imagery, against a backdrop of such huge change, is a great honour – especially when that award comes from the oldest photography association in the world.”
Commercial Photographer of the Year: FBIPP John Miskelly
Image title: Morning Gallop
John says: “I am extremely honoured to receive such a prestigious award, which is the ultimate recognition when one’s peers vote for your image and for that, I’m both humbled and grateful. I remember the first time I achieved any success in a BIPP competition, it was a 3rd place in my local region for a picture of an owl. Little did I know then that I would become the overall BIPP Commercial Photographer of the Year, some 15 years later. Winning this award would not have happened without the support and inspiration I’ve received from friends and colleagues throughout the BIPP. I feel an immense sense of pride, especially when I see the incredible quality of the other images in this competition.
Wedding Photographer of the Year: LBIPP Liam Crawley
Image title: Langvatnet
Liam says: “My ethos has always been to push what is creatively possible in wedding photography. For me, wedding photography can be so much more than simply showing a couple in love. I’m a firm believer in not only showing our couples personalities through our imagery, but also having our own personalities coming through in the images we create … without this I simply couldn’t stay excited about what I do. I have been fortunate enough to have won awards in the past but to win national wedding photographer of the year through the BIPP feels extra special. Why? Well, the BIPP are the “originals” aren’t they! The oldest professional photography organisation in the world with extremely high standards. To have my creative work awarded through the BIPP feels very special indeed”.