International Print Competition

If you’re a fan of my facebook page you’ve already viewed the images I submitted to International Print Competition that received merit awards.

According to the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) organization 12 elements have been defined as necessary for the success of an art piece or image. Any image, art piece, or photograph will reveal some measure of all twelve elements, while a visually superior example will reveal obvious consideration of each one.

1.) Impact is the sense one gets upon viewing an image for the first time. Compelling images evoke laughter, sadness, anger, pride, wonder or another intense emotion. There can be impact in any of these twelve elements.

2.) Technical excellence is the print quality of the image itself as it is presented for viewing. Retouching, manipulation, sharpness, exposure, printing, mounting, and correct color are some items that speak to the qualities of the physical print.

3.) Creativity is the original, fresh, and external expression of the imagination of the maker by using the medium to convey an idea, message or thought.

4.) Style is defined in a number of ways as it applies to a creative image. It might be defined by a specific genre or simply be recognizable as the characteristics of how a specific artist applies light to a subject. It can impact an image in a positive manner when the subject matter and the style are appropriate for each other, or it can have a negative effect when they are at odds.

5.) Composition is important to the design of an image, bringing all of the visual elements together in concert to express the purpose of the image. Proper composition holds the viewer in the image and prompts the viewer to look where the creator intends. Effective composition can be pleasing or disturbing, depending on the intent of the image maker.

6.) Presentation affects an image by giving it a finished look. The mats and borders used, either physical or digital, should support and enhance the image, not distract from it.

7.) Color Balance supplies harmony to an image. An image in which the tones work together, effectively supporting the image, can enhance its emotional appeal. Color balance is not always harmonious and can be used to evoke diverse feelings for effect.

8.) Center of Interest is the point or points on the image where the maker wants the viewer to stop as they view the image. There can be primary and secondary centers of interest. Occasionally there will be no specific center of interest, when the entire scene collectively serves as the center of interest.

9.) Lighting —the use and control of light—refers to how dimension, shape and roundness are defined in an image. Whether the light applied to an image is manmade or natural, proper use of it should enhance an image.

10.) Subject Matter should always be appropriate to the story being told in an image.

11.) Technique is the approach used to create the image. Printing, lighting, posing, capture, presentation media, and more are part of the technique applied to an image.

12.) Story Telling refers to the image’s ability to evoke imagination. One beautiful thing about art is that each viewer might collect his own message or read her own story in an image.

This was my first year entering the International Print Competition (IPC). Of the four images I entered three received merit awards. Next year the goal is all four receiving merit awards and hopefully 1+ being added to the loan collection (the next step up).

The first image I worked on for competition was this one of my great-niece Allie. I LOVE to photograph her and she was six years old when she came to my in-home studio for a princess session. I just purchased this crown and I needed (wanted) to photograph it on a sweet little girl – and she was happy to model for me! And of course little girls love the color pink so I wrapped some pink sparkly tulle around her and added some “precious” jewels and this image, titled “Pale Pink Princess” is the result:


The next image is titled “Classic Beauty” and this is my cousin’s college-age daughter. Rachel and her sister Emily answered a model call. After dressing Emily up in all white and silver and creating some beautiful images of her as an Ice Princess I decided to go a different route with Rachel. It just seemed like gold and fur would be perfect for her! And of course I added those same “precious” jewels I used with the pink princess! I love this beautiful image and Rachel and her sister were fantastic models!


The third image that received a merit award was an image of my 22-year-old daughter Andrea. I LOVE photographing her but she does sometimes suffer from “photographer’s child syndrome” – which is basically a kid being tired of having a camera in her face all of the time. She was willing to let me cover her in purple tulle and a feather piece I purchased at Joann’s Fabric Store though – and this image is the result. The original image didn’t score high enough at the State or District competition so I completely re-worked it for IPC and crossed my fingers and re-submitted it. I was so pleased when this made it into the merit category. There is a special attachment to images of your own daughter and it’s hard to be objective and see the faults in the image, so it’s difficult when it doesn’t score high! This image is titled “Amethyst” and although Andrea thought the stuff I was wrapping around her during the session was going to look ridiculous she also liked the final image!


State competition is in January 2017 so I’m already working on some ideas I have for my photographic submissions. If you enjoy modeling and are available this fall please send an email to to be put on the list of people I call when I need one!

Thanks so much to all of my clients for trusting my vision during a session. You never know what we may create together!,




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