Local photographer named to national exhibition
Violet Aubertin had three of her photographs recognized at the Professional Photographers of Canada National Image Competition in Alberta last week
An enthusiastic photographer from the Sault is receiving national attention after three of her images were selected for a prestigious exhibition that celebrates the best of Canadian professional photography.
Violet Aubertin submitted a trio of her diverse and unique photographs to the Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC) National Image Competition – all of which were accepted in Canmore, Alta. last Saturday.
For Aubertin, the path to achieving this recognition has been a long-time coming as her passion for taking photos stems all the way back to her childhood.
“I have been into photography almost my entire life,” she says. “I started at a very young age and took what ever courses I could along the way. I also shot film for quite a few years.”
“I’m outdoors as much as I can be. Just find the beauty in things that people don’t see or stop long enough to see. I have been tied up for the most part in the last year due to family commitments, but I persist with making sure I’m taking the time to progress myself along the way.”
After retiring from her career as a medical booking clerk in 2018, Aubertin planned to pursue her long love of photography even further.
“I really started picking it up,” she says. “I used photography more or less as a stress reliever.”
In 2019, Aubertin became a member of PPOC – a nationwide group of serious and creative artists dedicated to the craft of professional imaging.
For members to compete at the national level, they must first become accredited.
Once accredited, a body of their work in a specific category is put before a Board of Examiners and must be considered a level above the general level of membership and be executed with professionalism.
Aubertin’s first accreditation came in April 2020 in Ornithology/Bird Photography.
She has since earned other accreditations including Art/Photo Décor, Pictorial/Scenic, Animal & Wildlife, Night Photography, and Nature.
Coming off a successful 2022 PPOC National Image Competition where she earned merits for four photos and was nominated for Photographic Artist of the Year, Aubertin entered three more images into last week’s competition in Alberta:
- Rainbow Color Explosion received two Merits in the Experimental/Unclassified class and was a Best in Class finalist
- Single But Never Alone received two Accepted in the Pictorial/Floral class
- Brick & Mortar – A Fresh New Start received an Accepted in the Fine Art class
Aubertin’s submissions were examined by a judging panel of photography masters who determined each photo met the expectations of the category they were submitted in, with Rainbow Color Explosion additionally earning a Merit and a Best in Class nod.
“You have to match the skill levels of masters and photographers of all levels,” she says.
The local photographer says she’s incredibly grateful for the recognition again this year and owes some of her success to working with a group of amazing people along the way.
“It gives me a feeling of satisfaction,” she says. “PPOC is a tight-knit, close community. Everyone is working together and not against. No matter how busy of a life they have, they’re all willing and pitching in. Where one can’t complete a task, another will step in and do so. It’s an amazing community.”
While she notes that the photography community is closing, Aubertin fears that it is becoming a dwindling art with fewer opportunities for people to enter the industry.
“There’s a lot of photography (program) that is disappearing across the continent,” she says. “Sault College had its photography (program) that didn’t last too long. It was cut back, and I thought that was a shame. Photography is an art, but it’s also a non-regulated profession, which in some ways has been detrimental.”
But Aubertin doesn’t want that to deter people from discovering the benefits and adventures of photography.
“Your most valuable asset is yourself,” she said. “Spend your money wisely; spend it on you and your education. Learn the techniques. You can have the best camera and gear possible but have no idea what you’re doing. Know your values. You have to be able to recover what you’ve put into it.”
Aubertin’s trio of diverse photographs will be displayed on the PPOC website and included in a hardcover book along with other renowned submissions from 2023.
She’s also hoping to have a local information session for PPOC down the road for residents interested in learning more about the group.
Preparations are currently underway for Aubertin’s submissions to her 2023 Eastern Canada Regional Image Competition.
“I’m looking forward to submitting more photos each year, and I’m hoping to get the quality of my images up to the excellence and beyond,” she says.