I'll come out and admit it: I wrap my late summer/early fall schedule around the Call for Entries deadline for the CHBA-BC Georgie Awards, which usually close around the last week of September. When the call comes out in early summer, I block off the couple of weeks before the deadlines as the "crazy-ass Georgie Awards shooting season". Clients can call me in the wee hours of the night with logistical questions and often actually get answers; friends get encouraged to meet up with me at my office instead of home so I can catch up with them while waiting for Capture One to export piles of images, and anything else that doesn't lead directly to someone submitting their project tends to get temporarily deferred until after 5:01pm on submission day--whereupon the bills go out, the phone goes off, the scotch comes out, and I can stare at a blank wall and try to fight the urge to relight it to emphasize its texture, or any of the other things we architectural photographers habitually do on location.
This year was even busier than usual. While encourage our regular clients to shoot their projects early, and this left the "crazy season" for shooting new projects for a lot of first-time entrants. We teamed up the inimitable and indefatigable local real estate writer Susan M. Boyce, who has a stellar track record in writing winning award entries, and to top it off, offered a discount and some extra handholding for first-time entrants.
I'm pleased to announce that most of those first-time entrants at least made finalist in the Georgies and the Ovations, and we're even more pleased to announced that a few of them also "brought home the hardware" in the Georgies and the Ovations. I'll be profiling them in a few upcoming blog posts, because their projects were amazing and one photo just doesn't quite do them justice. It's always great when our clients win, but it's even better still when our clients win the first time they work with us. Gives everyone a good retort when someone says "I'm not going to bother entering because [usual-suspect] always wins". That's officially B.S.: do good work, present it well, and remember: you can't win if you don't enter. And if you enter and you don't win...well, you at least have some tight writing and good photos to enter in some future competition or repurpose for your website.
Congratulations to Jaheny Custom Homes, Carol Faan Interiors & COPA Development, Kerr Construction, and Symphony Homes for your Ovation and Georgie wins. And, to BOLD Developments, South Street Developments, and Smallworks, for making finalist at the Georgies.
Beyond the Georgies and Ovations, a couple of clients have also been winning further afield. South Street is also a finalist for the prestigious CHBA National Awards for Housing Excellence--née the National SAM Awards. And, Carol Faan is a Bronze winner in the A' Design Awards.
So if you're planning to enter your local housing awards this year, for your first time or your fiftieth, we have a number of things planned to help you out.
Stage it and shoot it
Builders and renovators, you've been here. You build a beautiful home for a client, they move back in, and now you have their "Grandmother Special" or "Sally Ann Contemporary" furniture in a sleek modern home, and the look just doesn't work. Or there's just no furniture at all, and things look bare. What to do? Stage it up for photo day.
When we photographed Highbury Residences for South Street Developments, the two units we photographed were just barely complete (the paint was still drying on some surfaces, I bet...), and the presale owners who bought the units were going to move in the next week...which was after the awards deadline.
The South Street team, Flow Home Staging, and I did a walkthrough of the place; and the Flow crew staged it up just for us. Since staging for photography takes far less furniture than staging for real estate, they were able to do their staging the night before the photo shoot, and were moving bits around and moving staging out as soon as I completed a room. It worked great: when we left the site, there was no trace of the furniture, the two units were pristine for their eventual owners, and the South Street team got photos that made them a finalist in both the Georgie and CHBA National Awards of Honour.
We can do the same thing for you, and we're happy to coordinate things so that we can have a project staged, photograph it, and be "back to normal" quickly and efficiently.
The early bird gets the best package discount
The Georgie Call for Entries won't be out for another couple of months, likely, and the Ovation Call for Entries won't be out until fall. But that doesn't mean you have to wait. We've been at this for nearly a decade, and while there are always a few little tweaks to the calls for entries, the work we do far exceeds the requirements for photography.
You can take advantage of this--as well as the amazing weather we've been having to get your project photographed and your writing lined up so that you'll be all ready to submit when the call to entries comes out, rather than scrambling at the last minute.
We can also take care of your writing and your photography at the same time! As we did last year, Susan M. Boyce will be offering her well-reknowned awards writing services as part of our photography and writing packages, so you'll be able to get your writing and photography done at once. It's faster, more efficient, and you can tell a better story that will impress the judges--and make for better PR for you.
You always remember your first time
We've heard the whine: "There's a lot of good work out there, but the usual suspects always win, so we won't bother entering". Bull----, we say! You design and build good stuff, and the best projects win. Why not let it be you?
This past year, two of our clients, Jaheny Custom Builders and Carol Faan were entering for the first time, and both projects took home multiple Georgie and Ovation Awards, among others.
The first time entering an awards program can be a bit daunting. We know, we've seen it. But we're happy to share our experience as well as making it a little easier for you. If you're a first-time entrant, we're offering a discount to encourage you to stop procrastinating and get your entry together. Go check it out!