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PPA Today: Imaging USA Archives

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By Mariah Ashley

This is one of my all-time favorite quotes: "Such a pleasant thought, if you improve overall conditions everyone can sail happily into the sunset".

It's an idea I try to set my moral compass to and a philosophy I practice in my business. When I recognize this quality in others I want to latch onto them because lately it seems most people practice the "every man for himself" motto and would sooner see you walk the plank than steer your own ship.

...except at Imaging USA. There, everyone is raising the tide. Unfortunately, it's not possible to latch onto 11,000 people, not even if you're a Kraken (mythical sea beast with many arms). Still, I wish I could give every special person I talked to a big old slimy tentacle hug. I guess I'll have to settle for squeezing them with my words instead.

But before things get awkward, let's consider ships.

The Grand Imaging Awards were presented to a packed room Monday night at Imaging USA in Nashville. Many medalists and finalists were honored, but the crown jewel of the evening--The Grand Imaging Award--went  to Roberto Falck, M.Photog., for his album Monks in the non-event category.

 

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"It's such a pleasure to be part of this community," said Falck, who received his master of photography degree the next night. "I'm honored and proud, this is so unexpected. We all work hard for this competition and it feels amazing to be honored by my peers."

 

Roberto Falck was selected as the overall Grand Imaging Award winner out of a pool of six category winners. The other winners were Alex McClanahan in the event album category, Nicholas Jones in the artist category, Jim Doyle in the illustrative category, Ben Shirk in the wedding category and Louise Simone in the portrait category. These winners raise the bar as true artists in the photography industry and inspire other photographers to do and be more. Each category winner received a crystal award and a $500 cash prize. Falck received a second trophy and additional $500 check.

 

The Grand Imaging Award winners have been judged to be the very best of the 2014 PPA International Photographic Competition (IPC). The Grand Imaging Award winner is selected from thousands of entries. Falck's image was judged by a panel of over 40 jurors to be the very best of all of the loan collection images - which makes it the best of the best of the best.

 

In addition to the Grand Imaging Award, PPA awarded medalists from the IPC. Bronze medalists had all four of their submitted images earn merits. Silver medalists had one of their images entered into the Loan collection and on up to a four for four perfect case for Diamond medalists. At this year's ceremony, PPA awarded 49 bronze, 103 silver, 86 gold, 49 platinum and 26 diamond medalists.

 

The International Photographic Competition is held each August. District competitions run January through March. The judging of all PPA photographic competitions are open to the public and will be streamed live online. For more information, visit PPA.com/Competitions.

 

 

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John Owens is PPA's resident wordsmith. Know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words? That's where he comes in. The Connecticut transplant and (still) avid Hartford Whalers fan is an aspiring adventurist/novelist/racer on a lifelong quest to find the best trails, brews and burgers.

That's a wrap folks! What a party to end what was officially the biggest Imaging USA ever with more than 11,000 photography enthusiasts here at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville. We hope you all danced and had a blast with your photography friends--new and old. Now you understand why Imaging USA is like a reunion!


And we couldn't be happier to have you all be part of the PPA family. It's the third recap in a row, but we have to say it again--without you, there is no Imaging USA. THANK YOU!!! 


"It's been an amazing Imaging USA here in Nashville," said David Trust, PPA CEO. "Seeing so many photographers here learning and improving yourselves and your businesses is what it's all about for us at PPA. Imaging USA is for you, and you made 2015 the best year yet."

Another day equaled more laughs, learning, networking and shopping for the thousands of you here at Opryland.


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You filled the room for Nashville's own Russ Harrington and for many other programs great programs throughout the day. We heard Allison Tyler Jones's program was so good it got even extended and received a standing ovation! The Imaging USA Expo floor was steady packed and plenty of you checked out those amazing photographic exhibits. 


Best of all? The room was FULL for this year's Grand Imaging Awards, which shows your and/or your fellow attendees' growing interest in photographic competition! Congratulations to Roberto Falck for taking home the Grand Imaging Award for his  image/album "Monks". 


"It's such a pleasure to be part of this community," said Falck, of Brooklyn, New York. "I'm honored and proud, this is so unexpected. We all work hard for this competition and it feels amazing to be honored by my peers." 

Aaaaaand Imaging USA is off!


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Record numbers of photography pros are piling into the Gaylord Opryland. We're already nearing 11,000 with 2 more days to go! We've got photographers from China, Sri Lanka, Italy, France Korea, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Germany, Belgium, and more plus the good ol' US of A. New Orleans, Mississauga, Vancouver, Albuquerque, Chicago, Hollywood and a solid turnout from the locals here in Nashville. 


Wherever you came from you brought your energy. It's contagious! There's a great vibe going on in here, and we can't thank you all enough for coming and creating it. Have you mastered getting around?








By: Lauren Walters

Ready to take the plunge into Imaging USA? First, stay up to date with what's happening in the world of photography. Read our top ten favorite blog posts and use them as conversation starters at the convention!

1.       5 Tips for Successfully Marketing Yourself at an Industry Trade Show

PERSONAL BRAND: Headed to Imaging USA next week? Get a head start! Learn how to market yourself successfully for when you're walking around at the Expo. The first step is to plan, plan, and plan again!

2.       Why Sports Illustrated Laid Off All of its Photographers

LAYOFFS: For a magazine so heavily reliant on its high-quality images, we were surprised to learn that Sports Illustrated laid off their entire staff of six photographers. A cut of photographers of this scale hasn't happened since The Chicago Sun-Times cut their 28-staffed photographers in 2013. Is history repeating itself?

3.       Joshua Kane: Running a Destination Wedding Photography Business

DESTINATION PHOTOGRAPHER: PPA photographer Joshua Kane gets paid to travel the world and photograph destination weddings. Although Joshua is living the dream, it's not always a vacation. Read about the challenges and benefits of a destination photography business.

4.       Pixels to Paint: Mixing Photography and Printmaking Yields Beautiful Results

MIXED MEDIA: How would a printmaker involve photography in their process? After mixing digital and print mediums, a hybrid medium was born. Check out a lithographer's approach to digital photography.

5.       India Through a Lens: The Nation Embraces Photography as Art

TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY: India has always been rich in imagery, but not so involved in the art of photography. After their first photography festival four years ago in New Deli, India has become more present in the photography scene. Check out breath-taking images showcasing the exotic Indian lifestyle.

6.       Study Finds that Professionally Captured Photos Are More Memorable Than Amateur Ones

DUH! (THANKFULLY): According to the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), people can distinguish a professional from an amateur photographer. The researcher who conducted this study used special equipment to record the subject's eye movements when exposed to photographs. Check out other conclusions they drew from this experiment.

7.       Johnson Publishing to Sell Historic Photo Archive

ARCHIVES: Hoping to raise funds, the publisher of Ebony magazine is selling their entire photo archive. This collection dates back to 1945 including historic and award-winning photography. Find out more about this collection.

8.       Street Photography: It All Comes Down to Editing

EDITING: As a street photographer, you can shoot anytime, anywhere! Where the structured schedule is lacking, the photographer picks up the slack when it comes to editing. Why would one have to heavily edit street photography? Read more to find out!

9.       Photographer Suing Nike Over the Origins of the Famous Jordan "Jumpman" Logo

COPYRIGHT: Learn about Nike's "jumpman" logo legend. Was there a photograph behind this genius design for inspiration? If so, does the photographer deserve to be compensated?

10.   Photographer Captures Enchanting Landscapes Inspired by The Brothers Grimm

INSPIRATION: We all know those beloved fairytales from our childhood. How about capturing the landscapes that inspired the original Grimm's fairy tales?

Check back with us next week for more top blogs. Any interesting blogs you'd like us to check out, let us know on theLoop!

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By John Owens

Back in the fall, PPA launched the second annual PPA Kickstart Scholarship. Our four lucky PPA members are already in Nashville for their pre-convention classes--completely on the house! The winners were given the opportunity to choose between a full-day of hands on classes or a two-day Studio Management Services workshop.

We chatted with each of our winners last month, and their excitement was evident. Each will be attending their first Imaging USA. Here are some highlights from the conversations:


By Mariah Ashley

I'm sitting here in Massachusetts with a blizzard bearing down on my house and all I can think is, This better not mess up my plans to go to Imaging USA in Nashville on Friday!

It's colder than a frosted frog here so in the spirit of Nashville, I'm passing the time researching country and western idioms. What I've discovered is that we're pretty boring here in New England, at least in terms of color phrases. You know, one of the best things you can do when visiting a new place is to learn some local lingo. I've included a bunch in this post so that you can fit in too. You're welcome.

Anyway... What a difference two years can make! It was just two years ago that I tried to fake a flu to get out of the trip to Atlanta for my first Imaging USA. My business had two speeds at that time: slow and stop. Yep, my crick had run dry. True story. I had $79 in my bank account. Coming up with enough money each week to make payroll was like trying to put socks on a rooster.

I couldn't see mustering the energy, let alone the money to make the trip. Fortunately for me, my business partner Trish is as bright as a new penny and saw right through my lame faux-flu. She insisted I get on the plane. Never in my wildest imagination (and trust me it gets crazy as a bed bug in there) did I imagine how much that trip would change my life. When we arrived in Atlanta we were desperate--desperate for inspiration, desperate for answers. We had nothing to lose so we went with open minds and empty pockets and found everything we were looking for.

PPA has received word that world-renowned landscape photographer Peter Lik will not be able to attend Imaging USA, February 1-3 in Nashville, TN. Lik posted a statement to his Facebook page Friday night:

In October 2014, Professional Photographers of America (PPA) changed my life with a monumental announcement that I had been chosen as the recipient of the organization's highly coveted Lifetime Achievement Award.

I was completely taken aback and honored to become one of only 13 photographers in history to ever receive this award.

Due to personal reasons, it is with an extremely heavy heart I announce I am unable to attend Imaging USA in February to accept this remarkable award or act as keynote speaker.

Thank you again to PPA for this incredible honor. After 30 years of traveling and taking photos, I continue to lose myself in the beauty and power of nature in an effort to finally capture an image I can call my favorite.

 

PPA President Susan Michal offered her support for Lik.

"Peter is a class act, and a proud PPA member and advocate," she said. "I personally know that he is extremely disappointed he will not be able to attend. We wish him the very best and certainly hope all is well."

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While Lik will surely be missed, Imaging USA in Nashville is still on course to be PPA's biggest and best event in its 146-year history. The event has already set attendance records with the biggest registration numbers ever seen to date. "Peter is a lot of fun and a good friend to PPA photographers. We'll regret his absence, of course, but this isn't changing the fact that we are getting ready for our best event ever," commented PPA CEO David Trust.

Organizers say last fall's announcement about Peter Lik's attendance created some buzz. But his absence will change little in terms of events and celebrations showcasing Lik's work or Imaging USA's overall success. While he won't be able to attend, Lik's presence will still be felt at Imaging USA. He will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award during the Award and Degree Ceremony on Tuesday night. And a hand-selected exhibit of his super-sized images will be on display in the print exhibit area throughout the event.

Lik has also made significant donations to Saturday Night's PPA Charities Celebration, including his newly released book featuring 317 large scale images. Only 2,500 hand-signed copies of this collector's item book, which retails for $5,000 per copy, are being issued worldwide.

Among next week's highlights are the Big Game Super Party Imaging USA Kick-off, which may be the biggest Super Bowl party anywhere, the best slate of photographic education ever assembled, the giant Imaging Expo, two large photographic exhibitions, and the closing night party in the Gaylord Opryland's Atrium, which is expected to be one for the record books.

It's not too late to register and join in all the fun! Head to ImagingUSA.org/Register to Be More with us in Nashville.

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By Chris Homer

A third generation photographer, Luke Edmonson has the craft in his blood! He's been a
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 professional photographer for nearly 20 years, starting out in commercial photography and then teaming up with his father in 2003 to create Edmonson Weddings. We chatted with Luke about defining style, his career as a photographer, what inspires him and more. Here's the recap of the interview:

1. What would you say is the biggest difficulty people usually face in defining their style?
The biggest difficulty in finding a style is finding your own voice and doing the work to discover who you are and what you want to say. It's not simply a matter of the type of photography you like or admire. It's not simply your ability to execute what you want when creating your imagery. You have to know the "Why" behind what you are communicating.

It's about understanding and knowingly pursue what is behind your vision when you are capturing a moment, your subjects, how you light, direct or pose them. So, an artistic style, at its very core, requires introspection. Something that as individuals many of us do not want to do. It requires you to become still...to be quiet...to reflect with intent.

I like this quote from Katherine Anne Porter, Pulitzer Prize winning author, who says succinctly "You do not create a style. You work, and develop yourself, and your style is an examination from your own being."

Let's examine that for a minute...

a. You don't create a style? Then what is all this talk about "finding your style" or "creating your style" that you hear bantered about? Perhaps it's just marketing speak to make it more palpable to the audience who is listening. Who wants to hear about work when the world sells us on the premise of "easy, fast and simple"? But don't for a second betray yourself to think that discovering something is easy. Especially when it involves learning about yourself. What is it that you bring to each photo shoot that shapes the direction of the imagery you capture?

b. You work and develop yourself? Yep, it's a never-ending process of growth periods, plateaus, and sometimes darker times. When things get stagnant, it's up to you to make the changes necessary to break through. When you are on top of the world it's about fighting complacency. None of us ever have it all truly figured out. However, with growth and development, some challenges as a photographer that may have taken hours to solve visually can be solved in mere minutes, once you've had that proverbial light-bulb moment.

c. Your style is an examination from your own being? Like most of us, you probably became a photographer when you fell in love with it. Perhaps, it was because of its immediacy. Perhaps it was because of how it made your feel when people complimented your early eye. But now that you have been in it for longer, what keeps you in the field? What drives you to create? When you look back on your work, what patterns and tendencies do you see? How have you transitioned from WHAT you see when you shoot but HOW you see, think and feel when you shoot? Have you had to persevere and overcome challenges in your photography? Your fingerprint is firmly implanted on every image you create. I encourage you to study it and understand it!

If you want to become a better photographer, it starts with becoming a better person. How can you pour out your life into others if there are areas in your own life that are holding you back from doing just that?


About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries in the Imaging USA category.

How They Did It is the previous category.

In Memory is the next category.

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