Shireen Hammond APP.L M.Photog III

2016 AIPP AUSTRALIAN PROFESSIONAL FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

 

 

"I remember my very first awards, sitting nervously at the back of the room, biting my nails hoping no one could see that I was physically shaking with anxiety and anticipation! Sitting amongst the very people I admired and aspired to be like - "Next print please" and there it was... I remember the rush and the thrill as my tummy turned over whilst the judges debated my image..... would they understand the story? Would they see the hard work and hours and hours I had spent creating, choosing, re-touching, refining and then printing this labour of love?... Then back to last year, times those "butterflies" by 15 years of entering, expecting nothing but "hoping" that each year I would improve my skills and craft, competing against only myself... When suddenly I hear - "And the winner of the 2016 Australian Family Photographer of the Year is........ "Shireen Hammond" - OK, so firstly I screamed, hands clapped over my mouth with a look of disbelief as I stared at my husband Robbie for confirmation that I had heard correctly - and then, to say it was a "highlight of my career" would be an understatement! For me, a girl who dropped out of school at 15... to choosing this career at 35 years old, although I have been blessed enough to win many awards statewide and internationally, to win a National category after years of working on and honing my craft and skill, in the country that I love, well, it was one of the greatest honours of my life!"

Shireen Hammond on winning the 2016 Australian Professional Family Photographer of the Year.

 

 

 

WINNING IMAGES AND BACK STORIES

 

Luigi and Antonietta, a beautiful couple, still living in the very same house that Luigi personally built himself, over 30 years ago. Working with my friend Tony Knight of This Is My Life, who was capturing their life story on video - we heard many stories this day, but one thing I learned was that Coffee is Luigi's passion. Whilst capturing their formal portraits, we had a break, and as in any good Italian family, you must be fed..... It was here when I quietly popped around the corner and watched them both silently working in unison together, like a "well-oiled machine" that only years and years of familiarity brings, that I realised that this, in fact, was the portrait that their children and families would most relate too. I loved the juxtaposition of the house that still remained as is, yet there he was, at 80 years old, with his brand new hi-tech coffee machine proudly sitting on the bench... Antonietta quietly preparing a feast for lunch in the background. A lover of trying to understand and record life and relationships.... this was an amazing moment that I feel so privileged to have witnessed and captured. This was also confirmed by the reaction of the whole family through tears when I presented the finished product to them.

 

 

Having captured Caroline and Fouad's wedding, I really wanted to show the close relationship, trust and love between the two of them and now, with the birth of their beautiful little daughter Izzy - completing the family circle in a simple but beautiful way.

Having captured Melissa's wedding then newborn images of her first child Thomas and now, her little princess Maddi, who would complete their family, was a very special joy, especially as I love capturing the continuing stories of the lives of my couple's. Melissa is a beautiful and artistic soul, in love with her precious children and I wanted to give her something a bit unique. I noticed at only 5 days old, that Maddi already had many little expressions and commented on this to Melissa, I could see the joy and pride that welled up inside her. Later when looking through the images, I wanted to be able to encapsulate this somewhat for her and so by trial and error, this image was born.

 

Having captured Melissa's wedding then newborn images of her first child Thomas and now, her little princess Maddi, who would complete their family, was a very special joy, especially as I love capturing the continuing stories of the lives of my couple's. Melissa is a beautiful and artistic soul, in love with her precious children and I wanted to give her something a bit unique. I noticed at only 5 days old, that Maddi already had many little expressions and commented on this to Melissa, I could see the joy and pride that welled up inside her. Later when looking through the images, I wanted to be able to encapsulate this somewhat for her and so by trial and error, this image was born.