I see that its time to enter the BLPA again and I must confess to being disappointed and confused by the whole experience.
Let me explain, I will always support anything that might raise the profile of British Photography as I believe the British reserve quite often holds us back in what is a global market place. The BLPA inaugural project looked great, exhibition, book etc . Supported by Homer Sykes a photographer I respect , Whats not to like ?
1. I made my entry no problem, paid my cash, no problem.
2.I was advised that I was short listed & to forward large files, no problem ? News Embargo no PR "op" here.
3. Uploaded large file and rang to confirm delivery, delivery confirmed !
4. Receive email "please forward file " urgent we don't have it ? Days before final judging !
5. Receive news of result, News embargo no PR here !
6. Unable to attend exhibition and book launch at the Mall galleries, do I receive a free copy of the book as a contributor "No " I bought my copy like everyone else.
7. The PR the winners received was mostly London based, this is a British award.
8. From the photos I've seen the curation and exhibition layout was a bit haphazard due to the numbers of works shown, fewer framed works might of added greater prestige to these awards, rather than the unframed prints that were displayed !
9. The book layout suffered from the same problems, using pix over 2 pages killed them dead, the square format design did not help as most entries were landscape format.
10. Although I supplied my website address it was not featured in the credits, others managed this. No additional web hits !
11. The Exhibition has only one other venue organised so far this year, nothing in Scotland , Northern Ireland or Wales ! British ? I believe the fee to host this show is £4000 ?
In short I never expected to win this competition but I thought if my work was recognised a PR opportunity might exist, it did not due to the over the top news embargo's. Better awards use the short list etc to maintain interest leading to the result and local PR opportunities can be exploited which benefits the awards, sponsors and the photographers.. It looks as if the publisher handled the PR as a cost saving, they never considered the benefits that were being denied to the entrants. ! The news embargo made it difficult for togs to make the most of their success. Thankfully the winner was London based !
I have been fortunate enough to be successful in other awards and have benefited greatly in the past, this appears to be all about book-sales and free content (paid for with entry fees) not British Photography or British Photographers.
I am reviewing my involvement with this project which is sad for a photographer who shoots English everyday life exclusively !
The BLPA has lost its appeal to me, just as my entry above has lost is colour !
Keep it real and good luck to those who enter this years awards !