It was a photograph taken on the spur of the moment and never intended for others to see, but Bonnie Parker’s image of her aunt has scored Silver at the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) state awards.
An elated Bonnie, who is studying TAFE SA’s Certificate IV in Photography and Photo Imaging at AC Arts, said she was visiting her aunt to photograph her dog for a class assignment on ‘motion control’ when she took the eye-catching image.
“My aunt is quite eccentric, she was telling a story and there were all these expressions on her face – which I’ve seen a million times before – but I had my camera in my hand and I thought ‘I need to capture this’,” she said.
Looking at familiar things, such as people and places, in a new light is one of the benefits of studying photography, said Bonnie, who signed up to the course in search of a creative pastime.
“I want to be able to tell someone’s story through a photo and to produce images where viewers can read into them their own story,” she said.
“In my aunt’s photo they are tears of joy, but you can interpret those tears as sadness, too.”
Bonnie credits lecturer Jennie Groom (who has just taken out third place in the mobile category of the Head on Photo Festival) for convincing her to enter the image in the Documentary category of the awards.
“I’d chosen a photo of my nephew, which is gorgeous, but Jennie said so many people will enter smiley faces which are beautiful, but they won’t have the emotion of my aunt’s photo,” she said.
Bonnie also entered the Travel category, using one of her favourite photos – the ruins of a house in rural SA – which scored 79 points, one point off Silver.
“I love it because I see beauty in the imperfections. My goal is to travel and capture images as a career, I want to document people’s lives – the reality is what I love,” she said.
Having scored Silver at the state awards, Bonnie is eligible to enter AIPP’s national awards to be held in Sydney in August.
She’s also looking to build on her knowledge and has enrolled in TAFE SA’s Diploma course for next semester.
“When I started I knew hardly anything about photography. The Certificate IV course has been great because it’s included the basics and my lecturers have made it a safe learning environment where no question goes unanswered,” Bonnie said.
“They really try and deliver all the material in a way everyone can understand. I think my lecturers are fantastic.”
An exhibition featuring all Gold and Silver ranked images from the AIPP state awards will be held at the National Wine Centre from May 30.