Prints That Win: Owl Always Kneed You

Muskogee, Okla., photographer Kimberly Smith is no stranger to the Sunset Print Awards. 2019 saw Smith win back-to-back-to-back awards during the PPA SW competition. “I printed everything that I entered this year on Sunset Bright Velvet Rag, even the album that I created,” she says.

“Owl Always Kneed You” by Kimberly Smith

Having previously scored wins with portraits, this year, Smith’s image “Owl Always Kneed You” was tops in the Artist category and won second place during IPC. According to IPC rules, the purpose of this (Artist) competition is to allow the entrant to demonstrate his or her artistic skills.

Drawing inspiration from the most unusual of sources, the idea for Smith’s award-winning image came to her after a routine medical procedure. “I had to have a knee MRI and they sent me home with the disk,” she says. “As I’m going through them, I noticed one of them looked like an owl.” She combined an image of a tree from a previous photography session and the base image from the MRI into an artistic image of an owl and her owlet.

Not content to have seven individual prints in the competition, Smith also created an album, complete with a leather cover, a satin ribbon, and 10 lay-flat images, all printed on her favorite Sunset media, Bright Velvet Rag.

“The story was inspired by my daughter and our dog, Sophie, who’s nine now. One day, I noticed she looked so old,” she says. “I knew that I had pictures of Sophie from when she was a puppy and my youngest daughter went off to college last year. I was sobbing putting the album together. That’s my dog and my baby.”

Smith’s works continue to garner praise at the highest levels of competition. Some of her other awards include the ASP Gold Medallion, which is presented to the American Society of Photographers Loan entry, judged by a separate panel of jurors to be the very best image in exhibition. PPA has awarded her the Gold Medal and named her a Diamond Artist.

Between competitions, Smith continues to teach at the Texas School as well as conducting workshops at her studio in Oklahoma or traveling across the country. “I’ve had people fly me in to teach in private workshops,” she says.

With such an eventful 2019, what does Smith expect out of 2020? “I’m excited,” she says. “I think it will be a great year.”

Get Your Photos Ready for the International Photographic Competition

 

Images declared merit-worthy at the IPC then get a chance to earn a spot in the Loan Collection book. The 2013 cover features the work of Sunset Print Award winner Ann Naugher, M. Photog., CP.
Images declared merit-worthy at the IPC then get a chance to earn a spot in the Loan Collection book. The 2013 cover features the work of Sunset Print Award winner Ann Naugher, M. Photog., CP.

Professional Photographers of America (PPA) announced that it will begin accepting entries for the International Photographic Competition (IPC) on May 26. Entries for the annual competition will be due by July 10, though you get a break on the entry fee if you enter by June 26.

The judging will take place at Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville, Ga., August 4-7. Judging is open to the public and there is no RSVP or no cost to attend. Photographers are encouraged to attend since the judging is an excellent learning opportunity so you can find out how to maximize your chances of understanding and processing successfully the criteria evaluated during the competition.

At IPC photographers may submit individual prints or digital images, and/or physical or digital photo albums. The judging panels are made up of experienced and qualified experts who undergo a rigorous and methodical training. IPC offers participants the possibility to enter their work in up to four image categories: Portrait, Illustrative, Event Album and Non-Event Album.

Submissions are judged against PPA’s industry-wide recognized standard of excellence using the 12 Elements of a Merit Image. The 12 elements are: Impact, Technical Excellence, Creativity, Style, Composition, Presentation, Color Balance, Center of Interest, Lighting, Subject Matter Technique and Story Telling.

Images that score high in all 12 elements are declared merit-worthy and will move on to a second round of judging, for a chance to earn a place in the PPA Loan Collection. These images are published in the Loan Collection book published by Marathon Press and are also exhibited in print and on screen at Imaging USA, PPA’s annual photography convention and expo, which will be held Feb. 1-3, 2015, in Nashville.

The cost to enter is $95 for PPA members who register before midnight on June 26, and $160 for non-members. For PPA members who register through midnight on July 10, it’s $130 and $220 for non-members. No registrations will be accepted after July 10. For rules and complete details go to ppa.com/ipc.