So many photography studios now days use the term “award winning portraits” to promote their business. So many, that the term no longer really seems to carry as much impact... Understandably so, for all you know the only awards some of those photographers may have won were for local competitions amongst non-professionals, right?
So to justify our studio's use of that term to ourselves and to our clients, each year we enter our work into one of the largest international photographic competitions. We aim to set ourselves apart, so that we can continue to say that we are one of the leading photography studios in the nation. This year marks the third year our studio has entered the PPA (Professional Photographers of America) International Photographic Competition.
Within this competition there are two separate categories that professional photographers can enter their work into – the Photographic Open Competition and the Master Artist (MA) Competition. Thousands of professional photographers from around the world submit their images. Each photographer is only allowed to enter 4 of their very best images into each of the categories. Only the most exceptional images entered – the ones regarded as the “best of the best” – are accepted into the prestigious PPA Loan Collection. These images in the PPA Loan collection are viewed throughout the world as setting the standard of excellence in photographic imaging.
Last week the results of the competition were announced and we are very excited to announce that all four of Ben’s portraits entered into the Photographic Open Competition were judged as Loan worthy. In the Master Artist Competition three of Ben’s four images were judged as Loan worthy. For a total of 7 Loans!
Loaning all four images in the Photographic Open Competition means for the third year in a row Ben receives the International Diamond Photographer of the Year designation... which only a few photographers throughout the world earn each year (to be exact only in 12 in 2011, 8 in 2012 and only a handful in 2013)!
Ben is honored that his portraits were accepted into the Loan collection but one of the things he is most proud about is the fact that the images he entered truly represent the kind of work that he creates on a regular basis. Nearly all of his Master Artist images were originally created for clients, while nearly all of his Photographic Open portraits were created while instructing other photographers around the country.
Below are Ben’s Photographic Open Loan images. We will try to get around to writing a post about his Master Artist images sometime soon...
"Ravishing" was also created in Rockwall, Texas while Ben was teaching a class (possibly even that same night as the portrait above) Ben spent most of the class showing how to create dynamic composites, but he also captured a few simple well-lit portraits of the model. In Photoshop Ben added a texture overlay and a few other minor corrections. He chose to enter this image into the competition because he wanted to prove that he was not only good at creating storytelling scenes but that he could also produce beautiful classic portraits.
"When the Music Ends" was something Ben had been wanting to create for awhile. While he was teaching some classes in Wisconsin last fall he met the perfect model for his idea and she had the perfect outfit. Ben had not yet even begun to construct the scene for his idea but he knew he wanted a worn circus performer hanging off of an old carousel horse. He had her sit on a high stool and pretend she was leaning off the side of a horse. He had to visualize the angle that he would build the scene at, the direction that the horse would be going, and the intensity, angle, and quality of light. By the end, it took a great while to put this scene together. The old train was photographed while teaching a class out in Idaho, the grass and broken carriage was photographed in New Orleans at yet another class. If you look closely, far in the background are some circus animals slowly moving in the same direction. The leading lines of the train and the tattered flags help lead the viewers eye to the subject.