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About the BIPP

The British Institute of Professional Photography is an internationally recognised qualifying organisation with over 100 years experience in supporting and networking photographers.

With members worldwide covering every discipline of photography, BIPP also works with a number of Colleges, including the Defence School of Photography and the College of Policing to ensure the future of the professional photographic industry. One of the key areas of our work is helping to represent professional photography to government and industry.


BIPP is run by photographers, for photographers, in conjunction with a small Head Office Team.

• Membership Services Advisory Board – made up of regional and national representatives from our membership.
• Board of Directors – elected from the Membership Services Advisory Board
• Continuing Professional Development Advisory Board – focuses on education, training and qualifications.

BIPP is a not for profit company .

BIPP Student & College Awards

Held annually, the BIPP Student and College Awards offer up a great opportunity for Students and Colleges to showcase their creativity in a number of different areas.

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Closes: 11 April 2016

The Two Winning TitlesBIPP Student of the Year and Winner, BIPP Student Open 2016

How to Enter

  • You can enter any category as many times as you like.
  • Each entry should consist of a portfolio of 5 images. So if you’d like to enter twice in the Wedding & Portrait category, you’d need to send in two portfolios of 5 images.
  • The work should be fresh and creative and each set of 5 images must sit together as a portfolio.
  • Entries must be 10×8” or A4 prints, numbered 1-5.
  • An image can bleed to the edge of the paper or have a thin keyline around, with a white or black border. No other mounting or overlay is required.
  • Any shortlisted photographers will be asked for a high-res digital file after the first round of judging.
  • An image may only be used once within the competition.


  • Ensure each portfolio is named and numbered (1-5).
  • Each portfolio must be accompanied by a completed entry form (CLICK HERE).
  • If you are not a BIPP member, you must enclose payment card details for £10 per portfolio.

Closes: 27 May 2016

Open To

  • Final year students on BIPP Approved or Accredited Courses in the UK.

How to Enter

  • If your course is approved or accredited by BIPP, speak to your Course Leader who has the ability to nominate ONE student from the course to go forward for the 2016 BIPP College Award.
  • The tutor recommends the person who they feel has excelled during the course and shows the highest standard of work within their portfolio.
  • The tutor submits 12 prints from the nominee’s printed portfolio, plus a disc of the 12 digital files, along with the name of the college and the student’s contact details.

BIPP Terms & Conditions

 Previous Winners…


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Many of the winners and runners up in 2013 have clean, advertorial images which work as character portraits or in the advertising industry. Many of the recognised images have a fantasy/story telling element.

BIPP College Portfolio Award 2013

Lee Howell

Le Howell’s work is pristine and well edited digital art with clear narrative. The fantasy worlds he creates are flawless, beautiful and fantastical.


Student Open 2014

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Winner – Jamie Mellor “Remnants”

Jamie’s use of on location lighting draws your eye to his intention. The images work for the advertising industry and have a cinematic aesthetic. He is clearly inspired by the likes of Crewedson and various filmmakers.

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Runner Up – Antonio Castro “Spanish in Edinburgh”

Antonio’s use of on location lighting and composites works well in his imges. Whilst some shots work with clean urban lines and frames other have a more organic feel. His style is also cinematic in that a main focal point for his images is the lighting – he goes about lighting his images the way they would on the set of a movie.

Student Award 2014

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BIPP Student Photographer of the Year – Kinga Kocimska – for “Deceptive Mind”

King’s work is fascinating however I feel it work far more when you understand the context. However in saying that – creating confusion in the viewer is exactly the intention – allowing us to feel what someone with Dementia may also feel. Her images are very different to previous winners as they are clean still life composites. All very clever in subject matter and with a strong meaning. These images would work well in the advertising industry perhaps for a campaign or a series.

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Runner Up – Sandra Vijandi LBIPP –  for “Unexpected Journey” & “Glass Houses”


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Winner – Greg Abramowicz

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Merit – John Buckley, “Connections”

Merit – John Buckley, “Surprise”

Inspiring Idea’s…

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I’ve just finished reading ‘Silence of the Lamb’s’ and I was surprised by the beautiful imagery and idea’s that it produced. It is a great book, but I was particularly struck by the description of moths in the book.


“They waited for the elevator. ” Most people love butterflies and hate moths,” he said. “But moths are more interesting – more engaging.”
“They’re destructive.”
“Some are, a lot are, but they live in all kinds of ways. Just like we do.” Silence for one floor.
“There’s a moth, more than one in fact, that lives only on tears,” he offered. “That’s all they eat or drink.”
“What kind of tears? Whose tears?”
“The tears of large land mammals, about our size.
The old definition of moth was, ‘anything that gradually, silently eats, consumes, or wages any other thing.’
It was a verb for destruction too. . . .”
― Thomas HarrisThe Silence of the Lambs  

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Plato’s Cave

(& the Stages of Enlightenment)

The philosopher Empedocles (of Acagras in Sicily, c. 492-432 BCE) described the plight of the human soul trapped in the body in a poem as coming ‘…under this cavern’s roof’.

Plato was familiar with ‘mystery’ religions, where a person being initiated was lead through a series of tunnels into daylight.

The prisoners are trapped, forced to look only at poorly projected shadows. Plato called this state of mind ‘eikasia’. An ‘eikon’ is an image or likeness. Plato uses the word in connection with the lowest level of understanding. The prisoners take the images at face value.

One of the prisoners manages to break free. The experience is uncomfortable. The prisoner is torn between looking beyond the fire and returning to the comfort of the shadows projected against the back wall. The journey out of the cave is not without its hardships. Once outside he finds it difficult to focus. It takes time but eventually he is able to see things as they actually are. For the first time in his life he realises that what he has seen up to that point is not reality but merely poorly cast shadows. Much of what he has understood as being reality is really folly. The conversations he had had with his fellow prisoners were meaningless nonsense, guesswork at what the shadows could be.

The prisoner feels compelled to return and tell his fellow prisoners what he has seen. However, on his return he finds it difficult to adjust to the darkness. The poorly lit shadows appear worse than before. His fellow prisoners laugh at him. They point out that his journey beyond the fire has in effect made his ability to see the shadows worse. They have no incentive to escape and see the outside world for themselves.

 Plato’s Allegory in Film

The original Matrix has many similarities with Plato’s cave. The main character Neo is given the choice of continuing to live life connected to a vast computer through which he lives out his life or breaking free and experiencing reality as it actually is. By choosing the later option Neo encounters previously unknown problems.

The Truman Show has similar overtones of Plato’s cave. Truman Burbank is the most famous man in the world, and he doesn’t even know it. Raised entirely ‘within’ a television show which comprises his entire world. Through a series of production blunders Truman slowly realises that he is being controlled and that perhaps all in his world is not as it seems. Burbank is faced with the problem of how to break free.

Dreams about luggage- what do they mean? (Dream interpretation luggage, baggage)


Dreams about luggage.
Luggage is a very classic dream symbol. It is very often about the “mental baggage” we have with us from experiences throughout our lives – experiences that have marked us for better or for worse.

Heavy or light luggage.
We talk about it in the same way as we colloquially say “he (or she) carries a lot of baggage” – meaning, he has experienced some things that “weighs on him.” In other words, we are again talking about mental luggage.

Luggage in dreams in relation to personal development.
For example, you dream that you find it hard to get going on a trip, because you have an unrealistically huge amount of heavy luggage to take with you. If you dream this, then you need to ask yourself how your own mental baggage slows you in your personal development.

You can also dream that you are late for a ferry, train, etc. Because of that you can not collect or simply carry your entire luggage. The meaning is as often the same – your personal life story and the experiences you have had, prevents your personal development, and the dream is a hint that there is some “luggage” to begin to work with.

Conversely, you can dream that you leave your luggage somewhere before setting out on a journey. That might give you a hard time (it’s hard to let go off ones’ mental luggage, and we occasionally even find comfort and “security” in what we know / the luggage we know – no matter how harmful it is) or you can be clarified to leave your luggage.

This last interpretation is about how you are very clear about saying goodbye to what you had with you in perhaps many years, in order to go on in your life without this luggage. Dreams of fear of losing your passport (your identity paper!), may also play a role in the dreams of luggage. It is often the fear of losing your identity on the life journey you are on.

To hide something away.
You can also dream that you frantically try to pack something into a suitcase, which you subsequently want to store in a closed / locked room in a basement, etc. That can be an image about the fact that you are trying to put some of your (physical) luggage away – which both can be an appropriate and inappropriate strategy. The important thing is that by the help of this dream, you are becoming aware of it.


 n inspiring image from the back of my mind…


This illustration hangs above my bed at homed, proudly signed by KT Tunstall. The actual print is longer and she is shadowed by a tree, I love the movement of it and it’s use of the arabesque to lead the eye around the image. 

I would like to create an image which includes both the symbolism of the moths and the suitcases – representing the life cycle of the moth and the journey to enlightenment. For the shots I would like to also encorporate strong light sources symbolising moving closer towards what we are all look for. Based on past winners and my own intentions, the images should work on a commercial level but also incorporate a strong narrative.

Pinterest Mood Boards

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Searching for the Frock…


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Dress Recce…


Location Options…


The Biscuit Factory…

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Debunking the myth of the Rule of Thirds…

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Job Solutions:

Shoot 1

Model: Rebecca Bell

Wardrobe: Those Were the Days Vintage

Accessories and Hair Pieces by: Love by Susie

Props: Suitcases, hat boxes, telescope

Make up: clean eyes with a dark red lip; image attached

Hair: combed and pinned to one side, some curls in the ends and left out, but not a full set hair style as this will take too much time and we are time sensitive for the morning shoot.

Brief: The images will be dramatic and inspired by the movie ‘The Graduate”. Specifically, the runaway bride. The model will be wearing vintage wedding gown and vintage inspired hair pieces. The suitcases will signify her leaving the alter on to other things. The images will be set in a rural Scottish setting, specifically on Arthurs Seat shot at multiple settings.


Shoot 2

Model: Ivy Elaine RuoLin

Wardrobe: ASOS sourced evening gown and black dress

Props: Suitcases, false cigarettes, glasses for booze

Make up: clean eyes with a dark red lip.

Hair: combed and pinned to one side, some curls in the ends and left out, but not a full set hair style as this will take too much time and we are time sensitive for the morning shoot.

Brief: The images will be dramatic and inspired by the stage play ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’. Blanche Dubois is an extremely lonely, delusional alcoholic. Luggage is a constant theme in the play as she is not in a secure position at Stella’s house, neither going nor staying. I will be compositing in additional images of butterflies, possibly birds in to the shots at a later stage which represent the circle of life and are part of her self-delusions. The suitcases and windows will have light emanating from them, representing the stages of enlightenment – moving towards enlightenment and out of the cave. This particular shoot has multiple influences, what with one being the character, then the shot ideas in terms of light, the moths/butterflies, and then the styling.




For the BIPP submission I have decided to go with the following image which I developed over the course of the BA:


I have chosen this image for it’s symbolism and ontological incompleteness. The suitcase is a clear symbol as are the butterflies and can be interpreted by the viewer as they see it. I enjoy the thought of the viewer seeing there own symbols in the image and creating a story. The viewer is pushed to question why could there be a woman in empty space, surrounded by butterflies and illuminated only by the suitcase in front of her.

Retrospectively, I feel that this image also has a commercial aesthetic which could fit in to the advertising or fashion industry.

Past winners of the BIPP seem to have a commercial and advertorial aesthetic to their images and so I hope that my photograph(s) stand a chance of gaining some recognition with the BIPP.

I have used cinematic colour grading to add a dramatic effect to the shot and create an air of mystery and potential danger/negativity – using cold blues and cyan as opposed to yellows and reds which would create a much more happy mood as opposed to a dramatic and sombre one. I have used a vignette on the image to draw the viewers in to the subject and made sure that the model is the highest contrast point of the shot – illuminated by a flash resting in the suitcase, becoming the focal point.

The butterflies are strategically placed around the image to lead the viewers eye in to the centre point of action. I also wanted a sense of Dadaism in the placement of the butterflies, keeping it more natural rather than too ‘organised’.

I had originally intended to use moths for this series, however they are quite hard to come by as people don’t seem to find them as fascinating as I do. Also, because of the addition of the suitcase it sends another message all together of old stuffy things being cleaned out of the closet and I wanted it to be far more magical than that.

I edited a number of shots from the shoot(s) including images from this particular set up where the model is looking at the camera, but it took away from that voyeuristic feel which we have when we watch a movie and created a challenge and a stronger relationship with the viewer and subject – rather than being allowed to look at the scene, she knows she is being looked at when she is making eye contact and this told a different story all together – captivating the eye of the viewer and losing the story line and symbolism.

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