The 2018 AIPP Australian Professional Photographer of the Year is Chris Saunders. We at ADP Pro would like to congragulate Chris on winning this prestigious award. Professional photographers from across Australia pour their heart and soul into creating a 4-image portfolio every year. With hopes in having their images awarded, they dare to dream, but only one person each year takes out the top prize.


“ADP Pro is a core part of my workflow and with the small margins that differentiate images at this level, a very important one.” Chris Saunders – 2018 Australian PPY

Each year the AIPP (Australian Institute of Professional Photographers) holds a national competition, showcasing the amazing work of Australian professional photographers across 13 categories. The entrants submit 4 printed and matted images for judging. The images are judged individually, anonymously and live, by a panel of 5 judges. Each judge scores the image between a score of 60 and 100, and given a final score based on all the judges scoring. After all of the images have been judged in a category, the top three portfolio scores, the total of all 4 of your images, are re-judged and a category winner chosen. From the 13 category winners, an overall winner is chosen and given the title of Australian Professional Photographer of the Year.

A Few Words From Chris

Can you tell us how luminosity masks have helped you in your final creations?

Luminosity Masks and in particular ADP Pro are a core part of my workflow.  Editing the types of landscapes that I am drawn to, mostly involves targeting specific sections of an image to help tease out a narrative.  Being able to select individual tonal ranges to apply selective contrast enables me to pull the detail out of the RAW file and show off some of the textures in our landscapes.  Without this a big part of the impact in my images would be lost.  ADP Pro really allows me to work on my images in a subtle way without killing the image through over processing or application to the wrong areas.

Tell us about the awards process, and what they mean to you?

The awards process for me is the biggest opportunity I have each year to make a step change in my development and growth as a photographer.  The process of entering 4 images which represent the best you can achieve and have them judged by the industries best photographers is one that pushes me each year to improve my skills.  That’s not forgetting that the standard each year goes from strength to strength, so if you’re not improving, you’re essentially heading backwards.  The real reward from entering events like the APPAs is the feedback that you get from the judges and the boost you get when an image touches a judge emotionally – that’s the real gold.  Just to get onto the shortlist for the awards requires a lot of luck to go with the hard work that we all put in, and to be presented with the AIPP PPY award at the end of it all, was and still is unimaginable.

About Chris

Chris is a fine art aerial and abstract landscape photographer based out of Perth, Australia. He’s been on the radar of many professional photographers for a few years now with his high impact and dynamic aerial images. His work is highly emotive and depicts our planet in a unique and striking way.

We encourage you to look at more of Chris’s work by clicking on the links below.