WPPI’s Awards of Excellence Now Accepting Entries

Wedding & Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) is now accepting submissions for its annual Awards of Excellence 16×20 Print and Album Competitions. In related news, professional photographer Ken Sklute has been appointed Consulting Director, WPPI Print and Album Competitions, and will oversee the competition rules, submissions, judging and the Awards of Excellence ceremony during the WPPI Conference and Expo.

Photography competitionKen Sklute has been honored as one of Canon’s Explorers of Light, a designation shared by only 60 top photographers worldwide. During his 38-year photographic career, Ken has been named Photographer of the Year a total of 32 times between Arizona, New York, and California. Ken spends much of his time teaching and lecturing, both nationally and internationally.

Photographers are welcome to submit their 16×20-inch Print entries for consideration in the following categories…

Wedding Division: Bride and Groom Together (Wedding Day), Bride and Groom Together (other than Wedding Day), Bride or Groom Alone (Wedding Day), Bride or Groom Alone (other than Wedding Day), Bridal Party; Engagement, and Wedding Details.

Portrait Division: Children, High School, Senior, Individual, Group, Animals/Pets, and Glamour/Boudoir.

Commercial Division: Scientific/Individual, Illustrative/Editorial, Advertising/Fashion, and Landscape/Nature.

Photojournalism Division: Wedding and Non-Wedding.

Composite Division: An entry comprised of multiple images or layers to create a single image.

For more information and to enter the WPPI 2013 Award of Excellence 16×20 Print Competition visit: www.wppi16x20.com.

Photographers are also encouraged to submit a series of digital images presented as a story for consideration in the WPPI Award of Excellence Album Competition. The categories include: Event/Informal Division, Engagement Division, Wedding – Multiple Photographers Division, Wedding – Single Photographers Division, and Videography Division.

For more information on the Album Competition visit: www.wppialbum.com.

The Grand Award for any given division of 16×20 Print and Album Competitions will receive a $2,000 cash prize (U.S. dollars), a complimentary Full Conference Pass for WPPI 2014 Conference and Expo, and complimentary entry into next year’s Awards of Excellence Print Competition (10 print maximum). Grand Award, First, Second and Third Place winners will receive custom-designed, engraved crystal awards.

Entry fees are $40 for WPPI Members and $60 for non-members. Return postage fees are separate and based on geographic location for the option of having prints returned. The deadline to register images online is Jan. 25, 2013. All prints and albums must be received at WPPI headquarters by Feb. 1, 2013. Judging will take place on March 9-10, 2013 and is open to all WPPI 2013 Full Conference attendees.

All WPPI 2013 classes, events and the expo will take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev., from March 7-14, 2013. Registration (http://registration3.experientevent.com/ShowWPP131/?flowcode=ATT) for WPPI 2013 is open now.

The early bird registration rate for access to the WPPI 2013 Conference and Expo is $199 for WPPI members and $379 for non-members through Dec. 14. On Dec. 15 registration rates increase to regular prices online: $275 for WPPI members and $399 for non-members. These rates include one free guest, all Platform classes, special events and a three-day pass to the expo. For more information about WPPI 2013 and all of its workshops and events, visit: www.wppionline.com.

PDN PhotoPlus Conference Can Help Photojournalists Adapt to Changing Markets

In a recent issue of the New York Times, reporter David Jolly created some buzz with his story headlined: Lament for a Dying Field: Photojournalism. He pointed to the sharp cutbacks in newspaper and magazine photography budgets, the financial woes of international photo agencies, and the fact that pictures and video shot by amateurs are often posted to websites minutes after a newsworthy event occurs.

Although it has become tougher for many photographers to make a decent living shooting images for mass-media publication, Jolly presents reasons for optimism. He quotes the CEO of Getty Images who notes the Web provides billions of pages on which photographers can show their work.  And, he quotes a former Time magazine photographer who reminds us that visual storytelling has been around since the Stone Age and may actually be enhanced by some of the changes that are occurring.

The annual PDN PhotoPlus Expo at the Jacob Javits Center in NY attracts thousands of professionals in the photographic and imaging industry.
The annual PDN PhotoPlus Expo at the Jacob Javits Center in NY attracts thousands of professionals in the photographic and imaging industry.

If you look at the Conference program for 2009 PDN PhotoPlus International Expo and Conference, Oct. 22-24 in New York, it’s clear that Conference organizers understand these market shifts and want to help photographers capitalize on some of these changes.

If the business models that supported a golden age of photojournalism are no longer viable, professional photographers must remain aware of other options.

More than 100 seminars are planned at PhotoPlus. Many sessions are focused on opportunities in four key areas: (1) fine art photography; (2) wedding photography and portraiture; (3) microstock photography (including direct online sales and licensing); and (4) multimedia and video. Here’s a quick overview of some of the sessions planned in these four areas, along with some of the highlights of other sessions that can help photographers in all fields update their business and marketing operations.

Fine Art. Photographers interested in fine-art photography can attend sessions on printmaking, high-quality framing, and marketing. For example, in the session Finding Your Place in the Art World, a panel of gallery directors and curators will provide insights into exhibiting and marketing your work. In a session called Presenting Your Work to the Fine Art Community, Mary Virginia Swanson will talk about strategies for submitting work to national and international juried exhibitions and portfolio review events such as FotoFest, Photolucida and European festivals. She will also discuss art fairs such as AIPAD and Photo LA in terms of assessing market trends and helping photo artists determine which dealers are most appropriate for their work.

In the session on The Fine Digital Print, John Paul Caponigro will distill “everything you need to know about inkjet printing in one short, intense session.” He will point out that “You can make inkjet prints that look like any traditional or alternative-process print, or you can make inkjet prints that look like no other media.” Sean Perry will talk about The Fine Art of Black & White and Stephen Johnson will discuss Down to Earth Color Management.

Mac Holbert and Henry Wilhelm will once again join a panel of experts offering advice on how to best mount, mat and frame digital prints. The panel will discuss all aspects of the process, including current gallery and museum practices, different types of frames, face-mounting to acrylic sheets, the potential display permanence benefits of UV framing glass, and protective coatings for canvas prints that won’t be framed behind glass.

 Weddings and Portraiture. Earlier this year, PDN announced that Skip Cohen, president of Marketing Essentials International, has joined the organization as editor of its annual Wedding, Portrait and Event guide (WPE). For the past seven years, Cohen served as President of Rangefinder Publishing, which included Rangefinder, AfterCapture magazines, and the WPPI association for wedding and portrait photographers.

The PhotoPlus Conference Program lists nine sessions in its wedding and portrait track, including sessions on wedding photography by Bambi Cantrell, Doug Gordon, and Joe Buissink. Cohen will present one of the sessions on business and marketing, discussing ideas for diversification, cost-effective self-promotion, generating publicity, networking, cross-promotion, packaging, direct mail, and website development.

Microstock.  One of the most eye-opening sessions on the topic of stock photography is likely to be the workshop on Tools for Selling Stock Direct. Panelists from Photo Shelter, ImageSpan, LookStat, and Creative Commons will discuss some the new tools that enable photographers to license their existing images directly to clients. Other sessions include Microstock: What We Learned in 2009 and Shooting Stock: Creating Exceptional Work and Marking Your Ideas Profitable.

Multimedia and Video. Sessions on this topic include titles such as Multimedia & Video: New Opportunities for the Still Photographer; Cinematography with a DSLR; Motion Pictures: Creating Successful Stock Footage; and The Documentary Hybrid: Photography and Filmmaking.

Business, Online Marketing and Social Networking. The PhotoPlus Expo program includes workshops on strategic estimating, negotiating with clients, determining how much to charge, and building your brand.

A session on the Twitter Revolution will explain how photographers can use Twitter to connect and engage with clients and customers and how to turn followers, friends, and fans into customers and brand evangelists for your services.

Speaker Jeff Cutro will discuss how to use Podcasting & Social Media to build an audience of people who are anxious to hear and see your next project.

In the seminar entitled Is Your Website Making You Money?, Blake Discher will discuss some of the techniques you can use to achieve greater visibility for your website in the major search engines. He will talk about proper keyword phrases and links and search-engine friendly site design and copywriting. He will also discuss how to effectively implement a link-building campaign to increase page rank.

In a three-hour session entitled Photographer Makeover, Jack Hollingsworth will talk about how all types of photographers can use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr, Friendfeed and other social and digital-media marketing tools to help reinvent their photo businesses. He will also talk about blogs, videos, podcasting, vlogging, and other tools will forever change the way you think about your business and your relationship with today’s customers.

Other Sessions. PhotoPlus will also feature many sessions on Photoshop and Lightroom, lighting, photo book publishing, sports photography, commercial photography, fashion photography, and editorial and glamour portraiture. And for the many photographers who continue to have a passion for photojournalism, PhotoPlus will present sessions entitled Careers on the Frontline of Social Issues in Unusual Times; Redefining the News Agenda in the 21st Century; and How to Fund and Produce Reportage in the New Economic Environment.