First and second awards validation for photographer
Katikati photographer Jo Bryant who thought she “could not stand a chance” got a double prize at this year’s ART Waikino competition.
Surprise and excitement were the words of Jo Bryant when she discovered two of her photographs won the first and second awards in the people photography category at the opening of the annual art exhibition at Waikino.
“I did not expect it at all with the high standard of artists that I would stand a chance. I am so excited,” she said.
Jo’s first prized photo entitled The Violinist shows a little boy playing violin has a story behind.
“He was playing at the Papamoa market raising money for refugees, children in Iran.
“He was so intent and soulful,” she said.
Jo cut out the background in post production and turned it into a monochrome shot.
“It took me three weeks to track his parents’ down to get permission to enter this photo at a previous contest (TrustPower Awards) and I can’t wait to tell them.”
She said this photo had always tugged at her heart.
Judge Annette Johnston said it denotes the “quiet determination of this child; eyes shut, his hair partially obscuring his face, our involvement in the scene is however cemented by the inclusion of the slight hand movement on both bow and fret”.
Jo’s second awarded photograph, Guitar Man, showing a colourful “grungy and edgy” guitarist at play breaks the photographic codes, the judge said, “a compositionally challenging image”.
Jo said being awarded that night is a validation of her work.
“So many times you enter competitions and like art, it is subjective for people to like it or not. Many do not like what you do, but winning two prizes in such a big contest made me realise this is what I want to do.”
Her passion for photography came during her teenage years until it was partially interrupted while raising her children.
“I still took photos but mainly family ones.”
After they left home, her passion resurfaced, picking up her Lumix camera and training with her mentor at the time, Kiwi photographer and owner of Alspix.com Alistair Boot.
“He was wonderful, encouraging and always said to me, ‘it is not the camera that matters, it is the eye of the photographer’,” she said.
Jo has been running the Katikati A&P Show photography competition for several years and founded the Katikati Photographers group last year.
Double win for Jo Bryant — holding her photo that won second prize in the people section at ART Waikino. Her black and white photo behind of the little boy and violin won first prize.