Exclusive Interview With Chris Davies Of The American Aperture Awards (AX3)
As many of you know the winners of the American Aperture Awards (AX3) were recently announced. Four major Award Winners and 51 Winners in each additional category from over 1,100 entries from 63 countries were narrowed down to receive these prestigious awards.
We were delighted in particular with the mobile photography category, not least with seeing our very talented Contributor Nettie Edwards scoop the Top Prize and Award of Mobile Photographer of the Year. Sarah Jarret, Adria Ellis, Gianluca Ricoveri, Cedric Blanchon, Eeken, Ale Di Gangi, Eloise Capet, Cindy Patrick, Lisa Waddell, Susan Tuttle, John Fulton, Mattia Vacca, Valerie McBride and more, all received Awards too in various categories – to see the full list of Mobile Photography Category Winners, go here.
We wanted to find out more about these awards, so we contacted Chris Davies the Founder and President and an interview transpired. Read that below to find out about the Judging criteria, quality of entries, the mobile category and much more…
Joanne – How long have the AX3 awards been running?
Chris – This is the first year the AX3 – American Aperture Awards have taken this name and this scope. Fabrik has hosted smaller competitions in the past, but AX3 took on a global audience and new direction that we are very proud of.
‘Stockings and Black Shoes’ – ©Eloise Capet – image Courtesy AX3
Joanne – When did you add the mobile category?
Chris – I love technology and how it is used in all creativity, and wanted mobile photography to be part of the competition from inception. After meeting Bob Weil, one of our mobile jurors earlier this year, it only validated my belief.
‘Birth’ – ©Susan Tuttle – image Courtesy AX3
Joanne – What has the overall quality of the mobile photography entered been like?
Chris – There has been a range in experience level and talent, but overall we have been very impressed. Everyone has a camera phone, but not everyone is a photographer. After sorting through some of the less impressive images, we were still left with an abundance of stunning options. That’s why we ended up with 10 Honorable Mentions in the mobile category. The overall talent was impressive and we felt that these 10 photographers deserved to be recognized.
‘Portraits’ – ©Ioannis Sidiropoulos – image Courtesy AX3
Joanne – Would you say that you received many entries?
Chris – Yes, we were thrilled by the number of entries we received in our inaugural year. In total, we received over 1,100 entries from 63 countries. The mobile submissions were equally impressive with over 270 submissions from all over the world.
‘Headstand’ – ©Lisa Waddell – image Courtesy AX3
Joanne – How did the non-mobile jurors feel about the mobile element of the comp – any preconceptions?
Chris – There were no preconceptions. I think everyone understands the impact of mobile photography in the art world and respects its arrival. It is hard to deny that some fabulous, inspiring work has come from mobile photographers. It is a respected field.
‘Surf City’ – ©Cindy Patrick – image Courtesy AX3
Joanne – How were the mobile photography winners selected, what criteria?
Chris – Since mobile photography has become almost a new art form in itself, we assembled a separate judging panel for mobile submissions. Two experts in the field who fully understand the nuances of mobile photography: Bob Weil and Daria Polichetti. All submissions were judged on their composition, technique, and how they were able to utilize the mobile device to produce the best image possible.
‘Versailles’ – ©Nettie Edwards Image Courtesy AX3
Joanne – Both the Grand Photography Prize winner and the Emerging Prize winner were awarded cash prizes in addition, why was the mobile photographer of the year, not awarded a cash prize?
Chris – We will be awarding a cash prize of $250 to the mobile category winner Nettie Edwards, even though we initially did not include this as part of the prize.