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Australian Emerging Photographer of the Year 2018

More than 400 of the country’s best professional photographers gathered in Melbourne last Tuesday night for the Australian Institute's Professional Photography Awards – known as APPA – presented at a gala dinner at The Plaza Ballroom on Collins Street. 

Melbourne photographer Belinda Richards from Frog Dog Studios was awarded the prestigious title of Australian Emerging Photographer of the Year for her humorous and quirky images of dogs.

Ms. Richards, a full time pet photographer spends her time extracting human like expressions from our canine companions.

Ms. Richards' image ‘Catastrophe’ was a favourite among the judges and was awarded a gold medal. Master photographer and judge Gee Greenslade said she saw more than just a dog reading a newspaper.

“Notice the gender of the felines, notice the gender of the dogs, we are talking about modern day feminism and we are doing it with the analogy of dogs and cats”, Ms Greenslade said. 

Ms Richards said she was relieved when Ms Greenslade made the comments because it meant the judges would see the narrative in the image.  “I love to use humour in my work and always talk about important issues that matter to me with a healthy dose of laughter”, Ms Richards said. 

“Using cats and dogs to highlight our current political climate with issues such as the #metoo movement at the forefront just seems natural to me”. Ms Richards said it was an incredible honour to be recognised as one of Australia’s leading emerging photographers. 

“I returned to study photography a bit later in life and I was so daunted my first day at college surrounded by teenagers with so much confidence.”

“To win this award judged by photographers I have admired for years just feels too surreal.” “To be recognised on this level is something I never expected. Next time someone asks me for a discount I am going to point at my award!”

For more details, please visit 

About the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP)

The AIPP is Australia’s largest photographic membership body. Founded in 1963, the AIPP is a not-for-profit organisation run voluntarily for and by professional photographers and industry representatives, who seek to set a standard of excellence within the photographic industry.  For more information, please visit

MEDIA RELEASE, 3rd September 2018

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