I was extremely pleased to learn that I have been successful in my application for EFIAP Gold. I started entering FIAP exhibitions as it gave me a motivation to produce more images and improve my photography. The need for that motivation has long since passed but I have continued to enter with significant success.
It’s been a hard slog getting to EFIAP Gold. I only shoot one genre of photography, so can rarely enter all of the sections in an exhibition, which reduces the number of possible acceptances I can get, and it makes many exhibitions too expensive to enter.
Over the past five years I have entered many exhibitions, planning each year what I need to enter to get to the next level, and I recently achieved all the requirements needed for the next and final level, nearing the end of what would be a six year journey. However the powers that be at FIAP have decided that they are going to increase the requirements for all of the levels by 100%, so just as I was about to break the finishing line in this marathon, they have doubled it’s length and added another 26 miles. I don’t feel like doing another 6 years, as there is nothing stopping them changing the rules again, and making the end permanently unreachable. So this is the end of my FIAP journey.
There is a well known phrase that the journey is far more important than the destination, and that is certainly true in this case. The gold medals and letters you can use after your name are very nice, but far more important are all the wonderful models and photographers that I have met and worked with, the places I have visited with them, and all the beautiful images that I have been able to produce with such amazingly creative people. The fact that I’m not going to reach the final level is just a minor annoyance in the scheme of things.
While the destination has now disappeared it does not mean that the journey is over. This year I will be doing more photography than in any previous year, there’s lots of new photographers and models I’m due to work with, as well as keeping up the friendships with all the great people I’ve met. I’ll find new reasons to produce images, if I even need a reason at all. For someone who came into photography without any previous interest in anything artistic it’s been one amazing journey waking up parts of my brain that I never knew existed.
I’ll look back fondly on the journey to my EFIAP Gold, and here’s the images that got me here. A big thank you to all the models who made it possible.