Yes! It’s a fact! I have received the QEP award!
Qualified European Photographer, QEP, is an official qualification system issued by the Federation of European Photographers (FEP), the European umbrella organization of professional photographers, awarding the photographer for his high professional skills. In order to be recognized, the photographer must submit a series of 12 photographs revealing his technical and creative excellence, while the photos must also have a certain ‘wow’ content. They are awarded by a five-member international jury.
In the whole Europe there are about 500 QEP photographer, and only about 60 Belgians have received the award. I am now one of them.
There are different categories, and I obtained the QEP for the reportage photos taken during the holi festival in India. This is a Hindu festival in which the beginning of spring, as wel as the victory of good over evil are celebrated. It’s a festival of love, friendship and a lot of colour. People go dancing in the temples, while they throw paint (called Gulal) at each other. For this series, I joined the celebrations with my well protected cameras at hand. It was challenging, but lots of fun, after a few minutes I was already one of them, unrecognisable.
The award was handed over to me during an official ceremony in the local town hall, by our mayor Pieter De Crem, after speeches given by several colleagues, and followed by a reception organised by the town of Aalter.
The news has made it to the paper (Nieuwsblad and Het Laatste Nieuws) and it resulted in a radio interview on Radio 2.
The original QEP images are still on view on my exhibition ‘disclosure’ in Ampla house Coupure Rechts 88 in Gent. Saturday and Sunday, 17-18th and 24-25th of November.