For many years I thought about entering Professional Photographers of America’s annual print competitions. I was too intimidated to even dip my toe into these waters until March of 2014 when I finally took the leap and entered at the state level.
My maternity portrait “Eve” won First Place for Portraits and I was hooked! I worked hard to add three more images to my portfolio and went to NorthEast District competition and then to International. At that 2014 International Photographic Competition three of my four images were accepted into the General Collection and I was thrilled! The most you can submit is four images and the highest you can get is all four in the Loan Collection. I was now in it to win it!
My goal this year was have all 4 of my images accepted and get at least one image in the prestigious Loan Collection. Guess what? I did it and then some! I got THREE of my images in the Loan Collection and one in the General Collection. This earns me a “Platinum Photographer of the Year Award”. That is a HUGE accomplishment and sets me up for a real challenge in 2016! How do I beat it?
Over 5,000 images are entered into the International Photographic Competition and just a little over 20% were accepted into the Loan Collection so I’m honored to have my images among them and to earn the award!
I can’t wait to walk the stage at awards ceremony at Professional Photographers of America’s “Imaging USA” in January! Also excited to work on four images for next year and to earn my Master Photographer Degree from PPA. These images got me so much closer!
“Evening Rehearsal for Summer Theater” was created when a local non-profit dance studio had the idea to invite local photographers to photograph the students for display at the studio. When Encore Performing Arts Center contacted me to ask me to volunteer my talent to their display I immediately thought of creating a silhouette! I brought the girls to my spot and with the help of their director Michelle Sperry we choreographed this scene. I knew the second I saw the clothing rack that it had to be in the picture so up it went and I’m so glad! I think it is the finishing touch to make this image special!
Here are the standards by which the jurors score the images. You can see why entering this competition can sharpen your creative and technical skills!
The Twelve elements listed below are in accordance to their importance.
1.) Impact is the sense one gets upon viewing an image for the first time. Compelling images evoke laughter, sadness, anger, pride, wonder or another intense emotion. There can be impact in any of these twelve elements.
2.) Technical excellence is the print quality of the image itself as it is presented for viewing. Retouching, manipulation, sharpness, exposure, printing, mounting, and correct color are some items that speak to the qualities of the physical print.
3.) Creativity is the original, fresh, and external expression of the imagination of the maker by using the medium to convey an idea, message or thought.
4.) Style is defined in a number of ways as it applies to a creative image. It might be defined by a specific genre or simply be recognizable as the characteristics of how a specific artist applies light to a subject. It can impact an image in a positive manner when the subject matter and the style are appropriate for each other, or it can have a negative effect when they are at odds.
5.) Composition is important to the design of an image, bringing all of the visual elements together in concert to express the purpose of the image. Proper composition holds the viewer in the image and prompts the viewer to look where the creator intends. Effective composition can be pleasing or disturbing, depending on the intent of the image maker.
6.) Presentation affects an image by giving it a finished look. The mats and borders used, either physical or digital, should support and enhance the image, not distract from it.
7.) Color Balance supplies harmony to an image. An image in which the tones work together, effectively supporting the image, can enhance its emotional appeal. Color balance is not always harmonious and can be used to evoke diverse feelings for effect.
8.) Center of Interest is the point or points on the image where the maker wants the viewer to stop as they view the image. There can be primary and secondary centers of interest. Occasionally there will be no specific center of interest, when the entire scene collectively serves as the center of interest.
9.) Lighting —the use and control of light—refers to how dimension, shape and roundness are defined in an image. Whether the light applied to an image is manmade or natural, proper use of it should enhance an image.
10.) Subject Matter should always be appropriate to the story being told in an image.
11.) Technique is the approach used to create the image. Printing, lighting, posing, capture, presentation media, and more are part of the technique applied to an image.
12.) Story Telling refers to the image’s ability to evoke imagination. One beautiful thing about art is that each viewer might collect his own message or read her own story in an image.
Thank you Good Morning Wilton for sharing my press release on your website and to Wilton Magazine for posting it on Facebook. I really appreciate your support!
“Middle Child Syndrome” was created when I was fostering these six adorable kittens. I walked by my old CD rack and thought SIX spots and I have SIX kittens! I must make a portrait of them! My daughter Kylie helped me safely handle one at at a time in the studio and I then pieced them together in Photoshop.
“PIcasso’s Protege” was created in my studio with my handsome and very expressive son and youngest child. You should have seen his excitement when I told him that he could paint an entire backdrop and himself with his favorite colors. Mommy joined in the fun getting it into his hair and adding finishing touches to his body paint. Add in some instruction to bring out my favorite expression of his and “Picasso’s Protege” was born. I had a lot of work to do to perfect it in Photoshop but it was so worth it! I love this image! They say never to enter images of your own kids in competition because judges sometimes are harsh with their criticisms but this one was a favorite of the judges and no harsh words were spoken about him. The only thing that almost kept it from going Loan was the fact that the yellow brush draws your attention away from the main subject and there is no other yellow in the image. They discussed it and managed to understand why it is like that and unanimously voted to accept it into the Loan Collection. Yeah!!
“Summer Dreams” is a client image of a beautiful little girl I have had the privilege to photograph a few times. She is a natural with the camera. I just love this image. The reason it did not go “Loan” is mostly because the face is a little too bright. It was something I noticed when I sent it to District but it was too late. I wanted to fix it before going to the International competition BUT once your image scores above an 80 it is guaranteed to get into the General Collection and it is considered a big no no to make changes before Internationals. I’m still so proud of it and at least now I still have room for improvement next year to try to go 4/4 loan. :-)
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