So proud to win the 2015 AIPP Australian Album of the Year!

I am so excited to announce that I won the AIPP (Australian Institute of Professional Photography) Album of the Year with the wedding album I designed from Erin and Jeremy’s wedding. It first scored a Gold Distinction award with a score of 95 and two of the judges even gave it a score of 99! After winning the award for the first time in 2006 and coming runner up 6 times, it’s great to win it again in my home country.

As a strong believer and advocate for albums, I wanted to create an album that had never been attempted before. I visited the headquarters of GraphiStudio, my album manufacturer, in Italy in 2014 and was staggered by the choices and options for creating an album. When I was given a tour of the factory, I noticed a photograph printed on a throwaway piece of leather – it was something they were testing for their album covers. I asked if I could keep the sample knowing that I could use this concept in some way for a future album. Later in the year I called the US and Canadian Director of GraphiStudio, Maureen Neises and within minutes I was also speaking to the Italian marketing director, Dario Righetto and the actual CEO of GraphiStudio, Tullio Tramontina. I asked if they could produce a custom 16×16 inch album with a clear acrylic front cover, a custom weathered wooden spine and back cover, custom bronze hinging and if every page could be completely made of printed leather. The answer was a resounding yes (although they didn’t know how they could do it yet!)

I then needed to think of the perfect wedding to feature in the album. Erin and Jeremy were married in November 2014 at Melbourne’s historic Montsalvat. It was an old artist colony, which could be mistaken for a 14th century Scottish castle. Printing photographs on leather was already a creative risk so I thought I would produce the images in sepia to complement the romantic old school charm of the album. I will never forget the moment I saw the album for the first time. It wasn’t just an album…it was an experience. The theatre of turning 16”x16” champagne-colored, sepia printed leather pages was intoxicating. In a world where most people experience their photos with a swipe of a finger, the tactile nature of touching, smelling, and turning the leather pages as I witnessed a beautiful story unfold was breathtaking.

A huge thanks to the AIPP whom without I wouldn’t be where I am today. Thanks to the sponsors, judges, print handlers and all the AIPP staff for your tireless work. Thank you Erin and Jeremy for trusting me to photograph your beautiful wedding. You are gorgeous inside and out! A huge thanks to one my best friends Rocco Ancora from Capture to Print for your brilliant work on the images and to the Graphistudio team for being crazy, bold and skilled enough to produce an exquisite groundbreaking album.

Here are a few examples of the leather album…

Here are a handful of photographs from Erin and Jerermy’s Wedding…

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We are living in the first digital generation where most people don’t print their photographs. It’s truly sad. History will have no record of this generation and future generations without printed photographs. Most people over the age of 12 living in a first world country own a cell phone which has a camera so everyone believes they’re a photographer. If everyone owned a microphone it wouldn’t mean that everyone could sing. I strongly recommend couples to hire an experienced professional to photograph their wedding and insist on a wedding album. Wedding photography is the only thing that appreciates in value after the wedding with every day and every death. Long after the flowers have died and the dress that is worn once and long after the last dance on the dance floor, the only thing will remain is your wedding photography. Digital images on a hard drive that will inevitably fail are not real until they’re printed. Your wedding album is part of your history and legacy. It is truly priceless!

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15 thoughts on “So proud to win the 2015 AIPP Australian Album of the Year!

  1. Congratulations! I loved your work and the leather album! You captured love and joy, serenity, peace and many other feelings that were in the air.

  2. Wow. I’m a vegetarian and love animals (aka not a leather gal)…but even I have to admit this album looks fantastic! Your genius ways strike again. I also love how warm your b&w images are without being sepia. Gorgeous.

  3. I totally agree with you Jerry. Wedding photos are priceless, but mean nothing if they sit on a USB forever. We have to educate our clients on how important it is to have a printed album. Congratulation on such amazing work. You truly are a talented man. I wish I had even a little of what you have in terms of talent. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

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A unique perspective…

You may remember an album I created specifically for the WPPI 16×20 Print, Album & Filmmaking Competition​ a few years ago which was made up of several polaroid collages.

Polaroid collage

If you want to see the entire original design, visit my Good Gallery client web site, found here.

I use the competition to reinvent myself. It puts a deadline on my creativity as I challenge myself to produce unique albums and enter fresh prints each year. The album was one of the most ambitious, challenging and difficult album designs of my career. The design created a sense of movement in each spread. It makes a 2D image almost appear 3D. It was like creating a puzzle from the inside out with no knowledge of the final image. When I began creating it, I was in a creative zone like never before. Each image had to be placed individually and carefully. It took me six long days with very few interruptions to produce this album. Since all the images had to be placed into position one by one, a reasonable knowledge of Photoshop would be required. I am by no means an expert in Photoshop so I called my good friend Andrew Funderburg from Fundy Software Inc He created the base templates for the book and after a short tutorial, his software made it easy to bring my vision to life.Thank you Fundy!

My inspiration for this design came from the master of polaroid collages, David Hockney. I usually prefer a simply designed album but as I mentioned, the WPPI competition forced me to think differently. I try to disguise my entires so the judges don’t assume it’s a “Jerry Ghionis” album. Well, I was rewarded! I won the album of the year award for the 8th time with that very album!

It’s a love or hate album. It’s deliberately chaotic and it was a huge risk but it was designed with purpose. It is truly one of my favourites and it is the most difficult design I have ever attempted. I have featured the design on my web site ever since and thought it was like the “Ferrari” in the showroom. Most will stop and stare at it but will most likely never buy it. Well, last year a couple booked me for that very album. I am currently putting the final touches on the album and presenting it to the couple tomorrow. I’m so excited that a couple has the guts to order this kind of album. The moral of the story? You sell what you show. Don’t believe that the industry forces you into a particular style of photography. Love what you do and put it out there. People will book you for your unique perspective. Unashamedly and unapologetically be yourself. Put your heart on your sleeve (and your web site) and you may not be the most popular photographer but people will book you for the work you love rather than the work you have to do.

Here is a sample from the new design:

Polaroid collage

Love what I do!!!

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10 thoughts on “A unique perspective…

  1. Love the concept and your words are so true. There is always so much pressure we put on ourselves as photographers in order to be “liked” – the problem is that it leads to uniformity and a sea of similar looking images and albums. Hats off to you for pushing yourself and others to think differently, reinvent and stand out from the crowd.

  2. jerry ser! may be you just gotta too mach compliments but let me give ya toooooo muuuuuch compliments ser you are the best photographer i don’ saw a great photographer in my entire life and i saw a few tutorials of you esp the wedding photography i did like all of them! and u like your smile(laughing technics to got a smile groom and the brife ones! respect

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