A Bit Of A Waste
The moral to this story, is that I should have hibernated. Or is it that I should have paid heed to the rules? You see, the rule(s) were clearly laid down and I can not claim ignorance to not having known them in advance. I guess I just chose to ignore them? The rules just didn’t and still don’t make sense to me, but the fact is, they’re unfortunately still the rules.
After the date of being awarded the EFIAP distinction, have obtained at least: xxxxx
The xxxx is actually irrelevant, it’s the wording before hand that I have problems with. You see, following on from the EFIAP distinction, the next award is the EFIAP bronze. My “understanding” for this award, was that any images you had used in the application for the EFIAP were no longer eligible to be used for any future applications. Which in itself was fine, but the wording is a little bit more specific than that and it refers to a date, or to be precise “after the date”.
This has huge ramifications – for me at least. You see, In February 2011 I was awarded the AFIAP distinction, which is the first step on the FIAP ladder. Following on from that, I continued to submit to FIAP salons in my effort towards attaining the EFIAP, the next distinction in line. You are only allowed apply for these applications once a year, so by the time came around for the AFIAP application, I was already well on the way to having enough acceptances for the EFIAP. In late March, just a month after being awarded the AFIAP, I reached the goals set down for the EFIAP.
What’s A Photographer To Do?
So, it is March 2011. Due to the limitation of one application date a year (February) and the exact wording of rule 4.2.b, it meant that I had to hibernate for 10 months, before I could even apply for my EFIAP in February of 2012. I shouldn’t enter any salons in that time, because the acceptances and awards gained, wouldn’t count? Surely that can’t be? Surely FIAP would not dissuade photographers from entering salons? Surely the purpose of rule 4.2.b was only to ensure that new and different works were used for the EFIAP Bronze than had been used previously? Surely it was something lost in translation? Surely?
Being the cautious sort, I queried this with the FIAP liaison officer (no reply), the secretary of the IPF and indeed a few other photographers that had actually achieved the EFIAP bronze or were actively working towards it. In all cases, they agreed that it was a wording issue and that it was safe to plough ahead.. which is what I did.
As It Turns Out
Unfortunately, it turns out FIAP actually strictly enforces rule 4.2.b Which means every single acceptance and award I achieved from March onwards and indeed on images that I did not list on my EFIAP application, are a complete waste Or certainly a waste when it comes to the actual distinction process. To put it in perspective, that’s over 200 acceptances that I can not list; That’s 26 salons that I can not list It’s 46 international awards across 15 images that I can not list – more or less every single award I have achieved to date is wasted There are 36 images, 15 of which I received awards with, which were never used for the AFIAP or EFIAP but the acceptances they have achieved to date, are wasted Of course the images themselves are not actually wasted as such, because they can be submitted again, but having “retired” some of them, it some how doesn’t feel right to dig them out again?
So Who’s To Blame?
By and large I have no one to blame but myself. I read the rule, I understood the rule but yet chose to ignore it, believing that it simply couldn’t be true. I’m quite annoyed that my official query through the IPF gave me one answer and FIAP are giving another. Perhaps I was only too willing to accept their answer because it suited my needs? Regardless, it is yet another example of how dreadfully poorly the FIAP process is administered in Ireland.
Truth be told, even if I was informed that rule 4.2.b was a hard fast rule, I’m not sure it would have stopped me completely from submitting to salons? Obviously chasing the distinctions themselves is the ultimate goal, but submitting to salons brings other rewards. Your work is seen by a wider audience and you gain exposure to other photographers work from around the world. I’ve been lucky enough to pick up some awards, which although they no longer count for the distinctions, is still pretty rewarding/satisfying.
What It Means For Me Now?
So the slate is well and truly wiped clean. Any acceptances and awards before this year are deleted.. gone… wiped clean. I’m starting from scratch. The EFIAP Bronze isn’t a terribly difficult distinction, with a requirement for just 75 acceptances from 25 images (with no restrictions on countries or salons). Of course there is also the requirement for 3 awards from 3 different images in 3 different countries, something I had achieved in the past and just hope I can achieve again (if not I’ll be REALLY pissed off )