Sunday, 25 April 2010

Eyewitness at Sony World Photography Awards

That's how you do an awards ceremony. The defeat of the volcanic ash cloud added to the sense of achievement reaching Cannes for the 2010 Sony World Photography Awards and the excitement was wrenched up to maximum. Up the red carpet, 'papped' twice & safely ensconced in a Roald Dahl experience where everything was made of champagne. The company of an Eve Arnold exhibition made the fizz dance that little bit higher.

The ceremony itself, as many ceremonies are, was a little disappointing. The 1st place winners missing out on a good PR opportunity with muted & muffled speeches. The language barriers didn't help. The UK winner in 'Fashion', David Handley was the only recipient to make an attempt at humour by unravelling a large roll of paper for his speech. Tom Stoddart was drafted in to present the 'Natural History' award. Seeing him pass the trophy to Spanish winner Pere Pascual for his close up shots of silkworms was my personal highlight.

the VIP pudding was awards branded

Before the post ceremony VIP Gala Dinner I asked if I could sit at the table with some British friends. I was rewarded with a table at the opposite side of the room seated with 6 Germans. 6 Germans, 2 Brits, no French, the odds seemed historically familiar. In true Dunkirk fashion, rescue came with an invite from Vice President of Getty Images Aidan Sullivan to join his table for after dinner drinks where he, Stoddart and the charming Brent Stirton were all in ebullient form with Stoddy deploying his amazing knack of looking like a cheeky cub scout when photographed.

Tom Stoddart in 'an impression of a young boy'

Getty VP Aidan Sullivan craves more dessert

I was fortunate enough to place 2nd in the Advertising category. 10 years ago as part of IPG, an established Photojournalist agency, it was considered rather vulgar to be commercially successful, I wasn't. I even heard rumours of another prestigious agency hounding out one member for earning too much from commercial work! Now photographers are expected to excel in the multi-media approach. This award will sit with equal merit on the shelf.

The trophy of 'Current Affairs' winner Walter Astrada

2nd place Advertising, 'Someone's Had Their Weetabix'

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