Founded as a collaboration between the Federation Of European Photographers (FEP) and the Professional Photographers Of America (PPA) the WPC has grown to become, possibly, the most prestigious photographic awards in the world today. With 38 countries from five different continents competing, the standard of the final entries is simply staggering.
Historically, Team GB has been poorly represented and when I first attended the awards as a member of the UK team back in 2019 I was struck by how seriously many other nations were taking these awards. There was a huge delegation from China in particular and USA were also well represented. I am proud to say that I won the Best Of Nation Award that year but the team as a whole did not do that well. I returned from Oslo with a determination to change this and in 2020 Martin and the BIPP committee appointed me as captain of Team GB. I now had the responsibility to choose the team and we set about reviewing some of the best talent form around the UK. In 2020 we came a very credible 9th in the world, scoring gold and silver in the Nature (Landscape / Wildlife) category and placing highly in several of the other five disciplines being Commercial, Illustration / Digital Art, Portrait, Reportage / Photo Journalism and Wedding.
This year, the WPC will be held in Rome and COVID allowing it will be a truly spectacular event. Our UK team is, in my opinion, stronger than ever, building on the experience of last year’s achievements. Winning the overall World Photographic Cup is of course the ultimate goal but for now it is more important that UK photographers are given the visibility and creative respect that they undoubtedly deserve on the international stage. The current cup holders, Brazil, have built their standing over many years and like all competitions it takes time to establish a style and approach to the awards that will hopefully, in time, breed success.
My approach under the direction of the BIPP board has been based on gathering an eclectic team of the finest photographic talent we have from all corners of the UK. The rules state that we can enter up to three images in each category with a maximum of one image per photographer in each. This means that each member of the team is entered into at least one category with some representing more than one. Being team captain is sometimes more challenging than you might imagine. I found myself having to exclude some incredible photographers to make way for others who offered a similar style or genre and it is beholden on me to ensure that we promote a variety of styles and approaches that can showcase the diversity that makes British photography, in my opinion, the best in the world.