If someone asks you to keep a secret, you do. Right?
Well I do. But in this case, there's no point keeping the secret, so I'm taking a moment to get excited that I've achieved my "Master" honours status with the Australian Photographic Society!
You've never heard of it? Well, I'm not surprised. Since its inception in 1962, the Australian Photographic Society has only awarded the "Master" honour to a grand total of 24 Australians. And it takes lots of work (and diligent record-keeping) to achieve it.
So what's involved? Well, the MAPS honour can be achieved in two ways - by panel assessment, or by exhibition. I chose the latter method, which requires candidates to submit photographs (print or digital) to (approved) International Exhibitions all over the world, and to gain 300 acceptances for their photographs. The candidate must also receive at least five awards for five different photographs in at least five different countries. In addition to this, MAPS can only be achieved one full year after achieving the FAPS (Fellowship) which in turn can only be applied for after holding the AAPS (Associateship) for one full year. So with all of the requirements for these Honours levels, all MAPS Honours recipients have actually had a minimum of 600 acceptances and 20 awards in approved Photographic Exhibitions all over the world.
So that’s why I’m sharing my “secret”. It’s exciting. And the reason why they ask people not to announce the news is that the APS likes it to be a surprise when they announce the Honours recipients at the annual APS conference. But as I can’t attend this year to actually receive my award in person, I’m not spoiling the surprise for anyone :)
PS. If you're an Australian photographer and this sounds like something you might like to know more about, check out the Australian Photographic Society website - www.a-p-s.org.au/index.php/members/honours/honours-distinctions - and join the APS. Believe me - you learn a lot about photography by competing Internationally!