Come March, it will be my third year in a row to attend the WPPI conference in its entirety. I’ve been making the annual trek to Las Vegas since 2014 and have found that it’s a great way to get a restart on creativity and motivation, get introduced to new products and ideas and learn ways to improve my photography knowledge and skill. Roughly, 20,000 photographers make the trip each year to get inspired, grow and learn.
In addition to attending the conference, I’ve also been trying to earn a silver award (80 or above) in their digital submission competitions since the fall of 2013. To date, my highest score is a 77—which I scored in the 2014 First Half competition. A 77 indicates an image is of professional average in skill and technique—but not above. I’m aiming for at least an 80 because: #1 it qualifies the image as above a professional average, and #2 it earns me a silver award good towards meeting my goal of becoming a master photographer. To obtain the status of a master photographer, I’ll need to covet 20 of these silver awards (or higher) within a ten year period, roughly.
This competition is one of the toughest in the world. The competition includes the world’s very best wedding and portrait photographers. My images will be judged against some of the most stunning wedding and portrait photographs the world has ever seen. I’m not looking to win; I just need an 80, please.
This will be my first time submitting actual print and matted images for the live critiquing that happens during the first two days of the WPPI. The images are judged in very precise circumstances. The room is nearly dark and the judges (who are master, double master and sometimes triple master photographers) use a viewing system that is daylight white balanced. The light intensity is the same as an exposure set at ISO 100, at 1/125 of a second at f2.8. Color, contrast, vibrancy and exposure are key elements. The images are also judged on impression/impact, originality, creativity, emotion, composure/framing, posing, lighting/exposure, uniqueness, in-camera artistry, degree of difficulty, post production, printing and matte/paper choice. Scores of 80 are not handed out frequently, but when they are, they receive an ovation from the audience.
I chose a master printermaker from New York named Jonathan Penney to print my images. His reputation in the industry is impeccable and I knew if I wanted to score well in this print competition, I’d have to reach out to professionals who have made their mark. Below is his representation of how the three printed images will look when they are submitted to the competition. I will not actually see his final products until the live judging. I’m excited to see them. I may cry. Especially if they score an 80.
WPPI 16×20 Print Competition
I am entering this first image into the Creative Division: Bride or Groom Alone: Non-Wedding Day. This category is probably a little more competitive than some of the others, because it allows for models as well as actual bride and grooms. I chose to offer this piece in a three-image composite to convey the happiness of my bride and the movement in her dress.My last two entrees fall into the Portrait Division: High School Seniors. It was very difficult to narrow my choices down to these, but I feel captivated by the subjects each time I look at them. I’m hoping the judges do too.
If you’re even the tiniest bit religious, spiritual, ritualistic, reverent, impassioned, devout, blessed, hopeful or even into witchcraft, I would appreciate your prayers, positive thoughts, good vibes, well-wishes, karma, notions and magic spells on March 5th and 6th, 2016. Thank you.
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I am San Antonio’s most unique wedding photographer. I specialize in a 10-day image delivery, same-day prints, same-day slideshows, Italian handcrafted wedding albums and I have a mobile meeting space.
I am a full-time, internationally-awarded and WPPI-C certified professional wedding photographer based in South Texas near San Antonio. I offer a premier and personal service coupled with an unforgettable photography experience. I cater to clients who appreciate quality photography and help them to create family heirlooms that will last for generations.
I started Ata-Girl Photography Co., LLC in 2010. I firmly believe that the unique set of circumstances I have faced in life has prepared me to take a personal and genuine interest in my photography clients. I enjoy documenting the important milestones and captivating moments in people’s lives. I love being a part of people’s journey and consider myself privileged to document their legacies.
When I’m not photographing a wedding, I love to spend my spare time hiking, camping, cycling, reading, listening to Elvis and Prince. The most important things in life are for me to see my two daughters happy and to create a family history my grandparents and grandson would be proud of!
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