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By Chris Homer

Are you excited about Team USA's participtation in the World Photographic Cup?! This May,
 30 countries are competing in the highly-anticipated world-wide event co-founded by PPA, the World Photographic Cup. 

The national teams, including two-time winner Team USA, will be vying to take the cup from two-time, reigning champ Portugal. This year's list of registered countries spans from the U.S. to Pakistan, Singapore to Spain. For all-things WPC including galleries of competing images, visit WorldPhotographicCup.org. 

Today we'd like to shine the spotlight on a Team USA member and creator of the images to the right in the portrait and wedding categories: Francie Baltazar Stonestreet,  M.Photog.Cr. , CPP.

A life-long photographer, Francie earned her CPP credential (Certified Professional
 Photographer) with PPA  in 2009 and has been advocating and supporting others to achieve their CPP ever since. She is a full-time working professional photographer specializing in weddings, engagements and bridal sessions, and continues to use the information gained through the CPP program every day.  

Francie has a great passion for the CPP program and believes it is the gold standard in the industry.  In 2012, Francie and her team of CPP Mentors assisted 30 photographers in passing their image submissions and supported 25 of those through the testing process so that they could receive their CPP.

She has been featured in Houston Brides and Houston Luxury Weddings magazines. Francie is also a published author and has been featured in the Dallas Business Journal, Houston Press and New York Times. Her inspirational essays have been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work, Stories That Warm the Heart as well as on many blogs and newsletters. She has also worked with Wiley Publishing as one of their Photographer Technical Editors.

Francie's notable accolades, awards, and achievements:

  • Master Photographer
  • Photographic Craftsman
  • Certified Professional Photographer
  • 2018 World Photographic Cup Team USA Member
  • Top 10 in the 2018 World Photographic Cup Wedding and Portrait Categories
  • 2018 PPA Diamond Photographer of the Year
  • Canon Par Excellence Select
  • Grand Imaging Award Nominee 2018
  • 2017 Kodak Elite Award
  • 2016 Kodak Gallery Award
  • Texas Professional Photographers Association: 2017 Platinum Photographer of the Year, 2016 Texas Photographer of the Year, 2015 Four for Four Print Case, 2015 Distinguished Portrait, 2014 Best Wedding Image in Exhibit, 2013 Best Portrait
  • 2016 Texas Professional Photographer Association: Presidents Award for Highest Print Case Score, Best Bridal Image, Best Wedding Album by a Master Photographer, Best Photographic Open Portrait, Best Portrait of a Man
  • PPA International Photographic Competition: 2016 Platinum Photographer of the Year, 2015 Silver Photographer of the Year
  • Southwest Professional Photographers Association: 2017 Best Bridal Portrait, 2015 Best Wedding Album
  • Professional Photographers Guild of Houston: 2015, 2012 Photographer of the Year, 2012 - 2015 Best Portrait of a Bride, 2013 - 2015 Best Wedding Album


The winner of the World Photographic Cup will be announced at the World Photographic Cup's Awards Ceremony at Sea World, Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, on May 5, 2018! For more information on this amazing event, and to view the finalist images from around the world, visit WorldPhotographicCup.org.

ch_headshot_100x100.jpgAbout the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages.


By Bethany Clark

Thumbnail image for WPC_Team_USA_1200x1200.jpg

In anticipation of the 2018 World Photographic Cup (WPC), taking place May 5, 2018 in Queensland, Australia, let's take a look back at the Team USAs of years past.


Check out this gallery on Facebook featuring the work of the 2014 Team USA; these photographers have made the U.S. and PPA proud, and we continue to celebrate them!

About WPC: The WPC was founded in 2013 as a cooperative effort by the Federation of European Photographers (FEP) and Professional Photographers of America (PPA). Its singular goal is to unite photographers in a spirit of friendship and cooperation. To learn more about the WPC, visit worldphotographiccup.org.

PPA-led Team USA Brings Home Second Consecutive Title

The World Photographic Cup is on its way back to the States as Team USA, made up of PPA members, narrowly defeated the competition for a second consecutive year. The cup was awarded April 12 in Montpellier, France.

Team USA Wins WPC 2015.jpg

Gold, silver, and bronze medals were awarded to the individual creators in each of six categories, and teams were awarded points for top ten finishes. Team USA won the cup with four medals and nine top 10 finishes. Team Portugal finished second with four medals and seven top 10 finishes, and Australia rounded out the podium with two medal wins and eight top tens.

"We're very proud of the stunning images created by PPA photographers for Team USA this year," said David Trust, PPA CEO. "This competition is really all about the fellowship of photographers from all over the world. It's an honor to be the association that represents this winning team of incredibly talented photographers."

The team's efforts were led by medalists Ben Shirk, Iowa, and Kenneth Martin, Wisconsin. Shirk, an Imaging USA and PhotoVision speaker, took two gold medals, in the portrait and wedding categories, as well as silver in the illustrative category. Martin won silver in the landscape/wildlife category. The other gold medals went to Portugal, Belgium, New Zealand and Spain.

PPA-led Team USA Looks to Defend Title

The medalists for Team USA at this year's World Photographic Cup (WPC) have been announced and it looks like Team USA will be in the running to keep the title it won last year.

Team USA has placed four medalists out of a possible 18--tied with Portugal for most at this year's competition. Team USA's four medals were earned by two PPA photographers. Iowa photographer Ben Shirk, M.Photog.M.Artist.Cr., an Imaging USA and PhotoVision speaker, will earn three medals in three different categories (illustrative, portrait and wedding). Wisconsin photographer Kenneth Martin, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, of Wisconsin, earned a medal in the landscape category, rounding out the medal haul for the stars and stripes.

"We're very proud of the stunning images created by PPA photographers for Team USA this year," said David Trust, PPA CEO. "This competition is really all about the fellowship of photographers from all over the world. That being said, we're excited about our chances to keep the cup in the U.S."

While the WPC committee announced this year's medalists, they did not reveal what color medal they will receive, building the suspense to the second annual event, to be held April 12 in Montpellier, France.


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