A determination to “be better, not bitter” has seen a South Coast photographer take out three awards recently.
Natalie Rachlewicz specialises in birth, pregnancy and newborn photography and collected silver awards at the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) awards.
Natalie was among 475 professional photographers to compete in the Australian Professional Photography Awards (APPA) and 715 to vie for a place at the NSW/ACT Epson Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) awards.
She’s set to launch the associations’ first South Coast chapter next month.
While she’s thrilled with her awards, Natalie was almost discouraged from entering.
“I almost didn’t enter my first AIPP awards last year. Basically, another photographer told me I wasn’t good enough,” she said.
“I persevered after some advice from a friend, an AIPP judge. She told me that entering the awards can make you bitter, or better. It can make you bitter if you don’t win, or it can make you better, if you use the judge’s feedback to become a better photographer.
“I decided I wanted to be better. And I still do. I was over the moon to take home two silver awards at my first APPA. However, it’s the judges’ critiques that are the real prize, because they’ve helped me become the best photographer I can be.”
Natalie achieved silver awards for two portraits at APPA, and a silver at the AIPP Epson Professional Photography (NSW/ACT) awards for a still documentary piece.
“I’m really proud of my fine art portraits. It’s not easy to photograph children, often they’re shy or they’re unsure how to act,” she said.
“In my portrait of Zara, I was able to capture the four-year old in a raw moment clutching her teddy, with this beautiful openness about her.”
For her documentary montage, Natalie revealed a birth from an unusual perspective.
“I told the story of birth through a child’s perspective. The judges said my piece was really unique – they loved how I captured four-year-old Amelia’s mixed emotions about this new addition to her family,” she said.
“I was thrilled with my results and honoured to be asked to lead the AIPP’s inaugural South Coast chapter,” Natalie said.
The AIPP was founded in 1963 and is Australia’s peak representative body for professional photographers.
Natalie said the AIPP gives members access to training, workshops, events and resources that help members with ongoing professional development.