Martin Walters LRPS AFIAP is our Current Featured Photographer
Getting Your AFIAP
Many of you will be familiar with the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) and Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB) awards.
The Fédération Internationale de l'Art Photographique (FIAP, The international Federation of Photographic Art) is another way to gain awards, and I have to say, probably the most expensive.
In July 2015 I gained my Artiste (AFIAP) award. The rules and regulations as well as the application forms were an education in themselves; and you have to be an expert in information control using spreadsheets. Mistakes are costly and you soon learn. I learnt the hard way, as very little is explained to you up front – rule 1: never rename your images from one competition to the next, rule 2: Keep all the information you can, you will need it.
I thought I had enough images to go for the award much earlier, but unbeknown to me, the rules had changed and my application was no longer allowed – this time they wanted more. You start off on this trail by entering your images (normally digital) into Salon competitions affiliated to FIAP. There are normally a few sections in each competition and you can enter four images into each one. The cost varies between the competitions but is generally around £12-£16 per competition. For the AFIAP you currently need the following (the rules are changing on Jan 2016 yet again, but the AFIAP and EFIAP rules seem to remain as they were):
There have to be 40 accepted images into Salon competitions as a whole (I had 76).
There have to be at least 15 different image works (I had 28).
Entries must have been submitted to at least 8 different countries (I had 12).
The entries must have been submitted to at least 15 different salons (I had 17).
Ten percent should be from a print salon (meaning prints and not digital images are judged – more expense). I needed 4 images from print salons (I had 5 – from a single salon entry, which was extremely lucky). This rule is changing in 2016 so that 4 prints are required (this still amounts to ten percent in this case).
You have to print and send a panel of five images from your best works.
Complete an exhaustive spreadsheet of entries.
It was my sheer determination, refusal to give in, and bottomless pit of cash that forced me onwards to the bitter end. The only critique you get is in the form of “your image wasn’t accepted into the competition”. However, that said, by virtue of them not being accepted, it makes you look at your images and critically assess your work a little closer. Every salon provides you with a magazine of the winners; looking at these, you wonder how good your images have to be. There are a lot of created images, too many in my opinion, and these generally win the awards (except for nature images of course).
So what did I get for all the hard work. I got a membership card, a shiny badge and a certificate that looks rather nice and probably better than my degree certificates. One of my images also obtained an Honourable Mention (HM) ribbon which I was extremely proud of – at last an award!
Next is the EFIAP…I now need to get 250 accepted images. It’s enough to put me off already, but I will enter some more salons just to see whether my images make it; it gives you a degree of confidence that people around the world think your images are “good enough”. I now know what to expect, so I will direct my entries appropriately.