Joan H Walker Photography | Virginia Professional Photographers Association Print Competition

Virginia Professional Photographers Association Print Competition

March 11, 2017  •  1 Comment

VPPA Print Competition | Best In Show | Joan H Walker Photography | 2017 Awards

Each year, members of the Virginia Professional Photographers Association (VPPA) put forth their best images and vie for coveted "merits" or points toward earning an even more coveted degree.  

This year, I entered ten images. I wasn't even going to enter any images this year because I'd just had wrist surgery and was pretty uncomfortable and you know what? Doesn't matter how many accolades you receive, fame is as fleeting as your age and your jeans size.  Well, at least in my world that's true.  So, even though I've accomplished some pretty amazing things, you're only as good as your next entry in the print competition world. After I got a phonecall from another member of VPPA, whom I greatly admire and hope to someday be at his level, said, "Where are your entries?" I decided I should stop feeling sorry for myself and get the entries in.  

I did and didn't expect anything.

So, I was pretty blown away when I was sitting on the couch with a really uncomfortable cast on my arm from fingertips to elbow, wondering why I thought I'd be able to drive to be with my photog friends in Roanoke for the winter seminar and print competition (I guess I kinda missed that in the pre-op instructions.  Heck, I'd driven with a shattered leg in a cast! Who knew you couldn't drive with a cast on your arm? Duh...), when my phone literally started blowing up. by Some of my nearest and dearest and TALENTED photographer friends who were at the awards ceremony were blowing up my phone with text messages, photos and even videos of what was going on.

I was completely in shock by the awards, but I was even more moved (to tears--truly) by the friendship and love these photographers were showing me -- because let's face it -- in compeition it's rare for those with whom you are competing to be excited and happy and proud of something you are achieving.  And that says a lot of my friends in VPPA because print competition is competitive.  

Ok, enough chatting and here's the lowdown on what happened. :)   

All ten images that I submitted for judging received Blue Ribbons, along with several additional awards, including: 

  • Best Of Show
  • ASP State Elite Award
  • National CPP Award
  • Best of Category: Bride
  • Court of Honor: Photojournalism

I was also awarded the following for the high combined scores of my top six images:

  • Top 10 Photographer

I've provided a few words on the capturing of each image before the photo, and an explanation of the awards each image received afterwards.  Hope you enjoy the images as much as I did in capturing them!

1. Watching His Taillights Disappear

Score: 94/100

Taken in Camden, Alabama on the porch or a decaying antebellum home on a hot Southern summer early evening as the sun was beginning to drop behind the trees, I asked my bride to look as if her world was crumbling around her BUT if he (the groom) turned around to come back to her, she just might shoot him.  Therefore the title: Watching His Taillights Disappear. (Note: The bride is happily married and he did not drive off into the sunset without her.) 

Watching His Taillights Disappear

Best of Show: 

This image was determined to be the best image of all entries this year.  VPPA had 362 entries this year--all from professional photographers.

ASP State Elite Award

This award is sponsored by Millers Lab and is awarded to the highest scoring ASP member at each state's competition. The ASP (American Society of Photographers) is an honor to be a member of, and is by invitation only.

National CPP Award: 

The Certified Professional Photographer Award is used to enhance Affiliate State or Regional Competition. This particular award recognized the highest scoring Certified Professional Photographer print, album, or electronic submission in the VPPA print competition. To learn more about being a CPP, click HERE.

Best Photographic Bride:

This award is given to the best image of a bride that is chosen by the judges from among the top scoring bride images. (Note: The award does not necessarily go to the highest scoring image within a category.)


2. Night Gathers and Now My Watch Begins

Score: 86/100

This image was actually the highest scoring portrait of a man in competition; however, it was not chosen for the Best Portrait of a Man.  (See note above: The judges choose the "Best" of each division from the top scoring images.) I love this image as it is of my son-in-law, a former Marine, who agreed to let me run a fog machine in the studio with him.  

Night Gathers and Now My Watch Begins

3. Walk of Memories

Score: 86/100

This image was entered in the Photojournalism category and is an image that is near and dear to me. The cathedral is the Holy Ghost Church, Church of the Holy Spirit, or Heiliggeistkirche and is located in the heart of Heidelberg, Germany. This image was taken handheld, with no additional lights or photoshop voodoo in post. I was watching my parents, who had come to the church for the 54th anniversary of their marriage, and I knew that when they hit a certain point near the alter, they would be bathed in light.  It was a one shot deal.  

Walk of Memories

4. Bath Time on the Ganges

Score: 85/100

This image was taken during a predawn trip by boat along the Ganges River in Varanasi, India. It was also entered in the Photojournalism Category. This image is one of my favorites as there is so much going on in the image, there are so many triangles of interaction, and then there's the man in the top right that I cropped so you see that he is putting his underpants on -- but nothing else.  

Bath Time on the Ganges

5. Heavy Load to Bear

Score: 85/100

Also in the photojournalism category, this image of a man on a bicycle with an unbelievable load balanced behind him, was taken in Varanasi, India, on a road to the Taj Mahal. In this image you get a glimpse of street life in India.  This was taken while hanging out the side of a horse carriage.  It, too, was taken in one shot.

Heavy Load to Bear

6. Palace Guard

Score: 84/100

Entered in the photojournalism category, this image was taken in the City Palace – Jaipur (Rajasthan), India. I came around the corner and saw the guard watching the courtyard below.  Again, no added lighting or photoshop voodoo, as this was shot for an editorial assignment (as were all my photojournalism entries).

Palace Guard

7. Your Mother I'll Always Be

Score: 82/100

Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins playing in the wake of the boat I was on in the Virginia Beach area.  Interesting fact/behavior that you can see here: mother dolphins will often touch their babies/juveniles with their pectoral fins while swimming and jumping.  It's similar to a parent holding a child's hand.  In this image, the mother is even turning her eye slightly to monitor her child's jumps. 

Your Mother I'll Always Be

8. A Thousand Years Watch

Score: 82/100 

This image was taken for a travel feature on Egypt.  The guard was standing just inside the entrance to a temple and was observing everyone who entered and exited the temple.  I saw that he had this amazing wrapping of light from the filtered sun pouring through the temple entrance.  But, to get the shot I wanted, he had to turn just so and look to the entrance. I also knew I had one opportunity to take the image because once he heard my shutter clunk, he would want to cheese it up for me.  

I stood in sweltering heat by a pillar, surrounded by ancient Egyptian carvings and hieroglyphics, waiting for my opportunity.  Then I saw it. A rather buxom blonde European woman walking up toward the entrance of the temple.  I waited.  He looked, as I knew he would.  I captured the image.  

A Thousand Years' Watch

9. Boys Unlatched

Score: 81/100

This image was taken on the streets of New Delhi, India.  The boys were in a bicycle powered school bus of sorts and were headed home for the day.  If you look carefully, you'll notice that the boys have unlatched the back door to the bus.  If you look even more carefully, you'll see the driver (bicyclist) of the bus has turned as is giving the boys a very stern look.

Boys Unlatched

10. Blue and Gold Forever

Score: 80/100

One of my favorite images, taken at the graduation ceremony and swearing in for the United States Naval Academy.  It was terribly cold, rainy and the midshipmen were literally shaking as they worked through a long ceremony.  This moment, the cover toss, was worth it.

Blue and Gold Forever

For more information on any of these images, to chat about how/what/where/why/who of the images, or to schedule a portrait session, contact me at the studio by clicking HERE.


Love all of these and especially the story behind "A thousand years watch". Oh the stories these tell. Thanks for sharing
No comments posted.
January February March (1) April (1) May June (1) July August (1) September (1) October November December
January February March April May June (2) July (1) August September October (1) November December
January February March April May (2) June July August (1) September (1) October November December
January February (2) March (1) April May June July August (1) September October November December
January February March April May June July August (1) September October November December