Jo Anne Cripps was recently given an honourable mention by the 9th International Color Awards (LA) for her photograph in the abstract category. This is an amazing accomplishment for Jo, as the category saw a total of around 5700 submissions! She has also been titled as the finalist for the landscape category in the Head On Photography festival and won two silver awards at the Epson AIPP Victoria State Awards, this year.
Jo-Anne made the decision of quietening down her own business as a legal conveyancer to pursue her passion for photography, within a year of being at PSC. She did have bouts of self doubt, wondering if she had taken ‘too drastic a step’ but she knew that if she hadn’t applied to the bachelor program with us, she would have regretted it all her life:
“It’s about stepping out of that familiar zone where you know everything and follow a routine everyday. For the first time in my life I’m doing something that I really want to do; not because I have to do it. I’m surrounded by students of varied ages, who are my friends, my support system that I collaborate with at and outside of college.”
Jo-Anne believes that her sense of maturity has been an important aspect in giving her the freedom to immerse herself in photography.
Now in her third year at PSC, she has a deeper understanding of how her work communicates with audiences, thanks to the constant critiquing she has received in her classes. She was initially daunted by this process, but since shedding her apprehensions she has noticed that her work has evolved considerably. The result of her personal and creative development with the art has made her more confident in submitting work to competitions; something she never really thought she would do.
“Competitions are great platforms for getting your work seen and critiqued by amazing professionals. Thanks to being at PSC I also realised that when I work with concepts I love, it shows in my work and the results are gratifying. Itâs not about taking ‘pretty pictures’, it’s about building bodies of work that are meaningful.”
Jo-Anne is currently developing her series called ‘Colours of Australia’, which will take her travelling all over the country. She describes this as a playful series , quite different to her other project which is about the ‘Stolen Generation’- a personal subject which she’s extremely connected to. The inspiration for this project is her adopted brother, someone who has and will continue to inspire her.
“I’ve found something I want to do for the rest of my life; as well as the impetus to do it.”
Jo-Anne advises people to think about what is really important to them rather than always focusing on what’s expected of them by others. She feels that if people followed their dreams, they will be pleasantly surprised by the support from their loved ones. She urges us to ‘take the plunge’ and see what’s out there.
As for her preferences shooting locations, Jo-Anne loves the rugged and rough conditions of South Island, New Zealand. She loves the peace and isolation in such places, because it gives her a lot of inspiration.
Her goals are to take a year off to develop her personal photography projects, before doing her masters, as she aims to teach in the near future. Jo-Anne’s tips for photographers are to put cameras on manual and stick with it, and go out to a variety of locations no matter what the weather has in store for them:
“Do everything you possibly can when you shoot, and let your style come through!”