I first entered a WPPI print competition in 2013. It was the 2nd Half Members Only Competition. I entered in the high school senior division and scored a 75. Not bad. A 75 is considered a professional practice. On my very first try, I was considered a real professional by my peers. That gave me hope. I’ve been hoping ever since.
I have been hoping to merit. You see, even after almost four complete years of entering into this competition, I still have yet to merit a single image. A merit requires a score of 80. A score of 80 means that the judges view your work as above average in skill and technique in most areas. My short term goal for the past four years was to score at least one merit. My long term goal is to become a master photographer. For that, I’ll need to merit at least 20 images within a ten-year time period. The countdown starts when I have scored five points within four years and I’ve earned an associate photographer’s recognition. It’s easier said that done. WPPI only lists a total of 105 master photographers in its ranks. There are 20 double masters, ten triple masters and five grand masters.
Over the years, I’ve scored 72-6 times, 73-1 time, 74-8 times, 75-7 times, 76-4 times, 77-5 times, 78-2 times and 79-1 time. There are five scores of 72 I wish I didn’t even have to admit to. I entered those images out of frustration when I was trying to figure out what WPPI wanted. After a few rounds of giving them my best images, I tried a different strategy. Obviously, that didn’t work out well at all. Fifteen times, the judges have thought that my work was below a professional standard, but 18 times they have thought that it was a professional average. I have a .545 batting average and I’d say that’s pretty good.
These are the four images I have decided to enter into this year’s WPPI 2nd Half Members Only Competition.
WPPI 2nd Half Image Competition
The first three are entered into the high school senior division. All three of these were from modeling sessions I conducted over the summer.
Bailey’s stare is quite captivating. I am drawn right into her big brown eyes and I can’t let go. I know I will get points deducted right off the bat for her hands. Showing the backside’s of a female’s hands is almost always a no. But, in my humble opinion it works well with this pose. I also like the wind softly blowing through her hair. I’m hoping Bailey’s expression is strong enough to get me a merit.
After some back-and-forth with a photographer friend, I decided to crop out the setting sun from this image. While it was pretty, it didn’t really lend any strength to the story. Emily and her dress are the story. Both are beyond beautiful.
Sara was the only model who actually fit the criteria of the model call… naturally curly hair… and you can’t even see it in this image. But I love this image. I tried to use the tree as a leading line and the rule of thirds to frame Sara in this image. I am in love with the warm tones of the truck and grass in the foreground. I love the fact that while Sara is the subject of the photo, she is actually only a small part of the photo. Her white dress forces her to pop out from the image.
The last one I entered into Bride Alone, wedding day. I don’t normally enter this division, but Eleanor looked so happy. I think the image will have a great impact because she’s not your typical bride. I titled this image, something else I don’t normally do, “After 37 Years, I’m Finally His Bride.” I love this image because she’s not camera aware and her cane, along with my title, helps to reveal what her age might be.
If just one of these images merit, I will be extremely happy! Please wish me luck and follow along to find out the results!! I don’t know who the judges will be, but I hope they like my work.
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I am a professional wedding and senior photographer based in South Texas near San Antonio. I pride my business in offering 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. As a full-time professional photographer, my sole purpose is to provide amazing, memorable and full-service photography.
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, family or high school senior, 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 would be proud of!
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