A few years ago when I got the second lot of honour award letters after my name: AFIAP AAPS, I got asked to consider becoming a photography judge.  I thought about it but was a bit chicken.  I’d seen camera club members pick fights with judges over their images and it wasn’t pleasant.  One night we had a lovely gentleman judge come to our club who had such a caring and gentle style of judging.  Nobody wanted to beat him up in the carpark after the meeting.  He was lovely.  That’s the kind of judge I’d like to be I thought.  Fair but nice.

So once I made the decision to become a judge it wasn’t a hard process.  It took about 6 months in total.  I had to get my camera club to nominate me to the Photography Society of Queensland first.  Then I had to find myself a qualified judge as a mentor.  He had to accompany me to three live judgings and to a presentation night at a camera club where I had to speak for about an hour and a half on any photography related subject.  I did a powerpoint presentation and had no trouble filling up that time.   My mentor had to score me on sheets each time and these reports were submitted to the Photography Society of Queensland.  The Committee met and discussed them and they were approved.  I had become a qualified judge.

It’s really quite an honour to be a judge as you hold so much expectation in your hands.  You have to be nice and gentle but also fair.  If you just say, “This is a nice image”, nobody learns anything. You have to point out why it’s good and how it can be improved.  Some images you come across are pretty good, great or stunning and require no improvements, but most images benefit from that second set of eyes running over them to make it even better.