Stella Nguyen, part time student at PSC and full time secondary teacher, won two silver awards at the AIPP Victorian State Awards. Currently running her own portrait photography business in addition to her other commitments, Stella was kind to give us a walk through her process of getting work AIPP-ready!
By Stella Nguyen:
My first selection was based on support from Craig Wetjen, fellow students at PSC, Instagram and friend likes and my personal favourites. The second stage of selection was based on those favoured or struck curiosity from judges at the AIPP AN INSIGHT INTO CREATING AWARD IMAGES & CRITIQUE NIGHT. The third was combining both work I loved and what I thought might be unique enough for the judges.
Freak out and set a goal
Being second year I was intimidated by the judges and other photographers at the AIPP Info night. The work was amazing and I was in awe. Freaking out was good for me as it provided a challenge and pushed me to drive myself further. In short I felt the fear and did it anyway with the goal and hope of achieving one silver.
I looked at past winners from AIPP to get a further understanding of what AIPP Judges would look for, of favoured styles and also what images have been done so I can consider my point of difference.
Test printing and refining were key as well as seeking feedback and advice. I test printed:
- For paper selection
- For different combinations (tri-typch)
- To re-evaluate pretty ordinary first few prints and test print again
Working with Peter
Peter has a good eye and knows his paper stocks well so when I knew something wasnt right with my prints Peter could pin point what the issues were and share his knowledge of how to edit for specific papers and his knowledge of AIPP and their expectations. Peter was a great guide to tell me when I went too far or need to go further. It built a great learning curve for me to edit for print.
At some point I think I had to realise that I had to let go and leave the print alone, there was no more at that stage that I could see or do within my knowledge of printing at that time.