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Every year (for the past 11 years in a row), I have sparkled myself up to attend WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International), my industry’s biggest convention of the year in fabulous Las Vegas. Aside from getting to learn a few new things, catching up with friends from around the world and taking advantage of all of the fun that Vegas has to offer, a highlight of the convention is always the international print competition. I’ve entered images for the past few years but only in the past couple of years have I had the opportunity to sit in on the judging process and have found that I have learned more from that experience about the subtle nuances of image creation itself, than I have in any seminar…ever.

This year I entered a few images into the print competition. I must admit that I was slightly cranky that I did not receive a trophy this year as I have a couple of times in the past. And sometimes I give myself permission to be a little cranky on the inside while I’m busy being gracious on the outside (you know like at awards shows when the camera shows a nice close-up of the actors who didn’t win as they clap and smile through clenched teeth?) icon smile WPPI 2013   Trophy less but still great So even though I left trophy-less, I did leave with a brain full of visual inspiration as well as the highest score I have yet to receive on a print in this competition and I thought I would share it here. 91, baby! The wedding party category was particularly strong this year so I was thrilled to have an image that stood out enough to do so well. So here it is…”Each To Her Own” from the lovely wedding of Sivan and Eli at Seven Degrees in Laguna Beach.

sevendegrees WPPI 2013   Trophy less but still great

Sivan had 12 lovely bridesmaids and was kind enough to allow each of them to select a gray dress of their own preference. I for one love the idea of respecting the individuality of members of the wedding party and the various hemlines, shoes and poses of all of these ladies gives you a little hint into who they are. And by eliminating the faces and including some negative space, we get this nice simple image that tells a great story without being too cluttered. Trying to say a lot while saying a little is not always easy, but in the end it’s what I strive for.

2 Responses to “WPPI 2013 – Trophy-less but still great”

  1. Jack Greystone says:

    Congratulations on such a high score. I think this picture tells an interesting story myself. I hope the “winners” have just as pleasing a picture as yours. Being a wedding photo of the bride and her bride’s maids tells a little about the Bride herself, being self-confident enough to let the ladies choose a dress of their own liking, says she is beautiful on the inside. A trait little seen today. Women get caught up in the fancy of the big event and do not think much about the women who sometimes can wear awful attire because the Bride wants it “Her way”. Shoes and skirt length also bear proof the New Wife is confident her party is inclined to be their own selves and give a brief but very telling side to their personalities. Leaving the heads out of the shot and a large space in front of the line of best dressed ladies brings focus to the individual styles of the women and is what I love so much about this photo. Peeking of the turquoise shoes the Bride made sure were not hidden also gives notice of the bright personality of the person wearing them. “Don’t forget the kicks”. as it were. Great job and talent. Next year will prove to be the shinning star you are so ready to shine. Even if it has been shining for quite sometime. This if proof. I am not a professional photographer but I am a pro at looking at things my way. And this photo looks fantastic. Once again, Great job and good luck for all future endeavors. J

  2. jenny says:

    Congrats on a successful trip to WPPI and even more on the score! The trophies on this page, and your work is stellar no matter what anyone says! This particular photo is so dang great, and I love the connection between the thought from the bride, and how you displayed it. : )!

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