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International acclaim for UCOL trained photographer

By UCOL on Wednesday, 20 September 2017

A self portrait of UCOL photography graduate Kelvin Gilbert

UCOL Photography Alumni Kelvin Gilbert has claimed the title of Overseas Photographer of the Year at the Australian Professional Photography Awards (APPA) hosted by the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP).

During his time as a Diploma in Photography student, Kelvin got a taste of competing in print awards. Since his graduation in 2012 he continues to achieve even higher recognition and greater accolades in professional photography. 

He is the youngest person to attain the prestigious status of Grand Master of the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography (NZIPP), and did so in the record time of four years.

Only 12 people in New Zealand hold the Grand Master title, a distinction that is earned by accumulated merit points of a consistently superior standard at the Institute’s annual print judging. 

It is only the second time Kelvin has entered the AIPP print awards as a professional and he admits he got ‘a bit of a shock’ when he learned of his win. “I certainly wasn’t expecting to win the international title. It’s a very tough competition.”

Kelvin’s four images in the Illustrative category gained him the highest aggregate score, and the win over photographers from around the world.  

His images depict current social issues presented in an illustrative fine art form and were from a series titled Oddities. 

Despite running the busy Palmerston North-based creative agency Origin Eight with partner and fellow UCOL graduate Amy Fowler, Kelvin says he makes time to shoot images specifically for competition. “It is a great creative outlet and it keeps me from stagnating by doing the same old thing.”

As a UCOL Photography student Kelvin says was encouraged to enter the annual NZIPP print judging awards, and found the experience useful to determine his future in the industry. “It showed me what area of photography I was good at,” he says. 
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