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Photo Contest Insider Blog

Professional Photography Awards struck by controversy

March 22, 2012

The British Institute of Professional Photography is considering banning judges from entering its annual competition after four of this year’s jurors received prizes in the organisation’s Professional Photography Awards.

The British Institute of Professional Photography has answered to claims of irregularities after four of the seven judges in this year’s Professional Photography Awards received top prizes.

The jury was composed of Anton Artemenkov, Russell Baston, Jonathan Briggs, Saraya Cortaville, Richard mayfield, Kevin Wilson and Stuart Wood.

Artemenkov, Mayfield, Wilson and Wood received a total of 12 awards – including Photographer of the Year 2012 for Mayfield. Artemenkov received a Gold title in the fashion and non-commissioned categories and a bronze prize in fashion. Wilson received two bronze titles in photojournalism and wedding, as well as another silver prize in wedding. Wood received a bronze prize in photojournalism, while Mayfield was awarded a total of nine awards including a gold, a silver and two bronze titles in the abstract, fashion and people categories.

Kevin Wilson FBIPP No Prisoners, No Chances Taken

Speaking to BJP, Hilary Harper of the BIPP says that while the organisation has “never had a hard and fast rule that judges can’t enter, they are made aware that if they do, they will not be able to judge that particular category.”

She adds: “Quite a few of the judges entered this year and they were removed from the relevant categories (one of the reasons we have a pool of judges – just in case there’s a conflict or knowledge of the image being judged). All images are anonymous and we also held the short listing on a separate day, to ensure these people weren’t involved in any way.”

However, the BIPP is now considering changing its rules following numerous complaints from members. “Having judges enter hasn’t been an issue in the past, but as queries have been raised, we’ll look at reviewing the processes for next year,” she tells BJP.

In a statement, the BIPP says that “Professional Photography Awards are a showcase for professional photographers, celebrating the very best work from the UK and internationally, and are some of the most respected within the industry.” BIPP president Roy Meiklejon adds: “These awards acknowledge the achievements, sheer skill and dedication of professional photographers, and these photographers have produced some wonderful images”.


What are your thoughts on this, should the judges be able to enter?