Student Spotlight: Kelly Champion - AIPP Australian Documentary Photographer of the Year

The South Australian professional Photography Awards judging happened on Monday and Tuesday! We are so excited to see what everyone has entered and who wins the Student Photographer of the Year sponsored by the Centre of CreativePhotography tonight! 

We are proud to hear that former CCP student Kelly Champion was the recipient of the coveted Australian Professional Documentary Photographer of the Year for 2017, as well as the South Australian Professional Photographer of the Year for both 2016 and 2017. Woah! Go Kelly!

Kelly studied the Certificate IV with us, then started the diploma, won a bunch of awards and got far too busy working in the field to continue her studies. 

She has kindly shared with us her winning portfolios and thoughts surrounding the awards process. 



2017 Australian Documentry Photographer of the Year

CCP: What awards have you won?

2015 SAPPA emerging photographer of the tear 

2016 SAPPA documentary photographer of the year 

2016 SAPPA professional photographer of the year

2017 SAPPA documentary photographer of the year 

2017 SAPPA professional photographer of the year

2017 APPA documentary photographer of the year

CCP: What is the major benefits of entering the awards?

Kelly: The major benefit of entering the AIPP South Australian Professional Awards is that you will have your entries critiqued by 5 judges. The whole process from choosing images, editing them for print, printing and matting is a huge learning curve. 


CCP: What made you choose to enter the APPAs and the SAPPAs?

Kelly: I wanted to gauge where my work sat within the professional community. 


CCP: Students often ask where to start networking and meeting working professionals. Have you made any industry connections through the awards process?

Kelly: Actually, this is a major plus to entering the awards. Over the few years I have entered I have met the most amazing people, not only at SAPPA but last year I went to APPA for the first time and met the amazing folk from interstate and sponsors. Being able to meet industry professionals face to face is so valuable. 


CCP: How does APPA and SAPPA differ from other awards processes and competitions?

Kelly: SAPPA is very hands on, the people entering are here, there is so much help you can reach out for. We have print critiques to help you get ready and you have to submit physical prints which you can then see judged live. 


CCP: What has changed in your career since winning South Australia Student Photographer of the year and being a finalist for the Australian Student Photographer of the year?

Kelly: Hmmmm, that’s a hard one to answer. I think my expectations of my own work have increased. I am always gaining more knowledge of how to assess my own work and I try and push myself to ‘see’ things in a different way and seek new stories to tell. I have also been asked to become an Epson ambassador which is massive! 


For further information on entering the South Australian Professional Photography Awards visit

For more information on the Australian Professional Photography Awards visit


You can also check out our events page for any upcoming AIPP print critique nights and meetings!

Gee GreensladeComment