The European Garden Photography Award

At a time of uncertainty and division we're reminded how gardens and photography have the power to unite

The European Garden Photography Award

Drive south-west from Nuremberg for about an hour through pleasant Bavarian countryside and you will reach a splendid baroque castle and estate, belonging to the Barons von Süsskind for eight generations. The connection with IGPOTY doesn’t stretch back quite as far but has been growing in strength, importance and enthusiasm for some time.

The European Garden Photography Award celebrates the best photography of private and public European gardens and helps connect winners and the wider audience with diverse and beautiful green subjects across the continent.

Working more and more with like minded European partners has been a particular focus for IGPOTY in the last few years and the European Garden Photography Award, run in partnership with Schlosspark Dennenlohe, is fundamental in developing this vision.

From these clear macro objectives, we see positive and significant personal outcomes. As former winner, Annette Lepple puts it: “Winning is of course very exciting – it’s an important recognition which makes everything even more worthwhile. It has boosted my career in some ways but IGPOTY and the EGPA has also helped me grow as a photographer, and this is really important to me.”

As an international competition which places importance on personal development, the breadth and quality of our transnational relationships help make individual growth possible. And this is what truly makes a competition international.

IGPOTY is able to do this not just because we share a professional sense of internationalism with our partners, but because of the way nature and art cut across geopolitical boundaries. When behind a lens, waiting for a sunrise or the joy of discovering a new beautiful garden, one tends to forget the foment of division and tiresome machinations.

But art should never exist in a vacuum. For a lot of photographers who enter IGPOTY, or indeed, artists in general, one of the most satisfying outcomes of the work is recognition. As Ulrike Adam, winner of the EGPA Competition 10 said: “I did not expect to win the European Garden Photography Award. For me, the victory is a great recognition of my work and I am able to find many new opportunities and offers. I have had lots of good press as well as discussions for future exhibitions of my work. Internationally I could certainly make a lot more of this as a career now - If only I had the time!”

Just as recognition is important on the personal level it also stands for parallel sympathies between organisations and businesses. The results are often surprisingly effective and when it comes to cooperation and partnership, more can always be done.

Annette’s parting advice to garden photographers can also be applied to the continued importance of supporting, seeking, and maintaining meaningful relationships, whether individual, national or historical: “Work hard, never give up and look for inspiration.”

Upon leaving the Schloss, take a moment to appreciate the baroque facade, unchanged since 1734. It will become apparent this castle was never meant to keep people out.

The EGPA award is now open for entries.