Local Artist Named GIA Finalist

“Daydreaming” by Danica Barreau of Pouka Art & Photography
GIA finalist in the “Animal” category

PRESS RELEASE: Local Artist Named GIA Finalist  Grove City, OH — Grove City resident Danica Barreau was awarded a platinum and a silver medal at this year’s International Photographic Competition and is a finalist in the Grand Imaging Awards hosted by the Professional Photographers of America. Winners will be announced in January during an award ceremony in Nashville, TN.

Mrs. Barreau was recently conferred the degree of Master Artist and her photographs and paintings of local pets earned her the American Society of Photographers state “Elite” award, as well as being named the 2019 Photographer of the Year and 2019 Artist of the Year by the Professional Photographers of Ohio. Two of her works were accepted into the Ohio State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition and one of them was purchased by the Ohio Arts Council to be part of their permanent collection.

More of Mrs. Barreau’s work can be viewed at the Arts in the Alley Fine Art and Photography Exhibitions in Grove City, September 21st and 22nd.

“The Peace Offering” by Danica Barreau of Pouka Art & Photography
GIA finalist in the “Creative Open” category

IPC 2019 Results

Well, it’s that time of year again! The grand finale of the photographic print competition season – PPA’s International Photographic Competition. The final judging of over 5,600 images happened last week (August 18 – August 23) in Atlanta Georgia. Six intense days of anticipation, stress, disappointment, and joy.

Photographers submit a “case” of four images in up to three different competitions: Portrait Open, Master Artist, and Wedding. I’ve been competing in the first two for four years. Scores determine if your image will be accepted (or not accepted) into PPA’s “General/Merit Collection” or the prestigious “Loan Collection”. Placement in those collections also earns you merits or credits towards four degrees offered by PPA. Last year I had enough merits to get my Master Artist Degree and this year, I have enough to get my Master Photographer degree in January (pending PPA approval)!

In the Portrait competition, one of my images joined the Merit Collection and three of my images “loaned” or joined the Loan Collection! That’s the best I have EVER done in competition and I’m very proud of that accomplishment. This means that I am an International Photographic Competition Platinum Medalist! That’s the gravy on top of getting my Master’s degree!

In the Artist competition, three of my images joined the Merit Collection and one of my images will be in the Loan Collection! So I am a Silver Medalist in the Artist competition.

This was a great competition season for me and I couldn’t have done it without the support and advice from our extremely tight-knit pet photographer community. In a niche which is often overlooked, they are standing tall and making waves. This year was the best ever for animal portraits! Congratulations to everyone who competed!!

Portrait Case

Artist Case

| 2019 Imaging USA |

This January I headed to Atlanta, Georgia for Imaging USA, the largest and oldest gathering of photographers in America. About 10,000 of us swarm a convention center to take classes, network, and check out new vendors and technology.

It was a heady four days, rubbing shoulders with some of the photographers that inspire me and learning new things to try to incorporate in my business and my skills. I took classes with Malinda Julien, Thomas Dodd, Scott Detwieler, and Joel Grimes, heard some great motivational talks by Scott Stratten and Judi Holler, and caught up with some of my favorite pet photographers from around the country.

Joel Barreau with his daughter Danica Barreau, M.Artist, CPP, and PPA President Stephen Thetford, M.Photog.Cr., CPP. Image courtesy of Romaguera Photography.
Master Artist degree recipients Lisa Asp, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, and Danica Barreau, CPP, with Master Photographer degree recipient, Karen Galley, CPP.

And on Monday night, after three years of hard work, I was awarded my Master Artist degree from PPA! Earning the degree requires a certain number of artist images (usually digital paintings and/or composites) to score 80 and above in the International Photographic Competition for the portfolio portion and then continuing education and/or service merits for the remainder of the degree.

As I posed for my official portrait with PPA President Stephen Thetford, he eyed my red Master Artist lanyard and said, “Looks like you decided to start with the hardest one!”

The Master Artist degree is considered one of the more difficult degrees to achieve, requiring not only photographic excellence but also the digital expertise of image manipulation. This year, there were only 24 recipients of the degree!

PRESS RELEASE
Grove City Photographer Earns Master Artist Degree

January 21, 2019 – Danica Barreau, CPP, of Pouka Art & Photography in Grove City, Ohio has earned the Master Artist degree from Professional Photographers of America (PPA). The degree was presented by PPA president Stephen Thetford, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, at the association’s annual convention in Atlanta, Georgia.

Barreau has been awarded the Master Artist degree in recognition of her superior photographic competence and enhancement of images with artistic techniques as demonstrated through photographic competition, advanced education, and service to the profession. In 2019, she was one of only 24 recipients.

These are the ten General Collection and two Loan Collection images that contributed to my degree:

And after all that excitement, we had a big party, renting out the entire Georgia Aquarium to celebrate! My favorite part was, hands down, the big aquarium with the whale sharks!

Photographer Wins Bronze and Silver at IPC

PRESS RELEASE: Grove City Photographer Wins Bronze and Silver at International Photographic Competition  Grove City, OH — The annual judging at the International Photographic Competition (IPC) hosted by Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is complete. Over 1,300 photographers and digital artists from seven different countries competed to have their images scored on technical excellence, composition, storytelling, and creativity. This is the most prestigious competition of its kind, where images are judged based on a standard of artistic excellence, not against each other. Grove City, Ohio resident and digital artist, Danica Barreau, CPP, of Pouka Art & Photography, was named a Bronze Medalist in the Portrait Competition and a Silver Medalist in the Artist Competition. Barreau’s work will be on display at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, Jan. 17-22, 2019. Central Ohio residents can view Barreau’s work at the 2018 Grove City Area Chamber of Commerce’s ”Arts In the Alley” Photography and Fine Art Shows in Grove City, OH on September 15 and 16th. Additional information about the artist and her work can be found on her website: pouka.com

About Me

I'm an internationally award-winning pet photographer, digital artist, and author. My chili has won a few trophies as well! I live in Grove City, Ohio with a multitude of pets and a very patient school teacher. I love meeting new people and am more than happy to chat about dogs and photography.

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Local Photographer Wins at Grand Imaging Awards

PRESS RELEASE | Grove City, OH – Danica Barreau of Pouka Art & Photography in Grove City, OH was awarded a third place Grand Imaging Award from Professional Photographers of America (PPA) in Nashville, TN on January 15th. Mrs. Barreau’s image, “My Fairy Dogmother”, was selected as one of the top ten animal portraits from over 5,800 photographs during the prestigious International Print Competition last August. The announcement of the top three winners in each of ten categories was eagerly awaited during PPA’s award ceremony at their annual photographic convention where Mrs. Barreau accepted a trophy from PPA President Rob Behm on stage at the Gaylord Opryland Convention Center. This is Mrs. Barreau’s second year competing in IPC and she is a recipient of a silver medal and bronze medal in the Artist category as well as the GIA award for her animal portrait.

About Me

I'm an internationally award-winning pet photographer, digital artist, and author. My chili has won a few trophies as well! I live in Grove City, Ohio with a multitude of pets and a very patient school teacher. I love meeting new people and am more than happy to chat about dogs and photography.

Contact me

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Purchase “Setterly Yours”

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The Lisping What?

The Lisping What?

If you're curious as to how this blog got its name, check out the Model Spotlight post about Finch. He's The Lisping Dog!

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Bronze Medalist at 2017 IPC

Danica Barreau of Pouka Art & Photography is honored by peers and jurors for high-quality photography. PRESS RELEASE | Grove City, OH – Danica Barreau of Pouka Art & Photography in Grove City, Ohio was named a Bronze Medalist during Professional Photographers of America’s 2017 International Photographic Competition. Barreau’s work will be on display at the Gaylord Opryland Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee, Jan. 14-16, 2018. This International Photographic Exhibit is held in conjunction with Imaging USA, an annual convention and expo for professional photographers. Her work will also be shown locally at the annual “Arts in the Alley” Sept. 16-17 in Grove City, Ohio.
A panel of 33 eminent jurors from across the United States selected the top photographs from nearly 5,800 total submitted entries at Gwinnett Technical College in Georgia. Judged against a standard of excellence, 2,660 images were selected for the General Collection and 644 (roughly 11 percent) were selected for the esteemed Loan Collection—the best of the best. The Loan Collection images will all be published in the much-anticipated “Loan Collection” book and over 200 selected General Collection images will be published in the “Showcase” book by Marathon Press. The level of the award is determined by how many of those four images receive the highest possible honor: acceptance into the PPA Loan Collection, which is displayed at photographic exhibitions, conventions and other photography events. Barreau was named a Bronze Medalist by earning a merit—a mark of quality and honor—for each of the four images included in her Master Artist entry case to the International Photographic Competition. Barreau also had two Portrait entries accepted in the Loan Collection and one Portrait entry into the Showcase. This is the most prestigious competition of its kind, where images are judged based on a standard of artistic excellence, not against each other. In 2017, she was one of only 152 Bronze Medalists. About PPA: Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is the largest international nonprofit association created by professional photographers, for professional photographers. Almost as long-lived as photography itself, PPA’s roots date back to 1869. It assists more than 28,000 members through protection, education and resources for their continued success. See how PPA helps photographers Be More at PPA.com.

About Me

I'm an internationally award-winning pet photographer, digital artist, and author. My chili has won a few trophies as well! I live in Grove City, Ohio with a multitude of pets and a very patient school teacher. I love meeting new people and am more than happy to chat about dogs and photography.

Contact me

Social Media

Purchase “Setterly Yours”

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The Lisping What?

The Lisping What?

If you're curious as to how this blog got its name, check out the Model Spotlight post about Finch. He's The Lisping Dog!

Recent Posts

My Fairy Dogmother

“My Fairy Dogmother” is my second International Photographic Competition Loan image . It is another “case filler”, an image not originally intended for competition and stuck into a case to fill it out. I was shooting an image for a children’s book I’m working on called “Finch and The Spot Fairy”. I was trying out various crowns to see how they would photograph and Sparrow was modeling with her typical bored expression. “Yeah, fine. But there had better be treats later.”

This was the final image:

One of the test images turned out pretty well – I loved the way the light fell on her so I tacked on some wings and posted her on my business page.

The post. Blew. Up. The image reached over 48 THOUSAND people and was shared over 2,000 times. That’s… uh… a bit more than my usual reach. So when I was looking for an image to pad out my case for the spring State Print Competition, I figured I would go with my FB followers’ gut and add this one. I took off the wings (no added elements for a portrait submission) and submitted “My Fairy Dogmother.”  It scored an 82 with no challenge. That seemed about right to me so I prepared to submit it to our Northeast District competition. I made a few tweaks, adding a bit of light, taking down some highlights on the crown, toning down the background texture, and fixing some pearls that were damaged.

At District judging “My Fairy Dogmother” scored an 88 and then was challenged. 88 was already the highest score I’d ever received in competition. Imagine my surprise when one of the judges insisted that this image deserved a 100. A ONE HUNDRED. I started crying. Seriously. Ugly sobbing tears. The judges rescored and I ended up with a 97; what we call an auto-loan. Images with 95 and above don’t get rejudged at International. They go straight through. This was officially an IPC Loan Image. I was on cloud nine for a week afterward and I still get a little verklempt thinking about it.  The image then went on to win third place in the overall Grand Imaging Awards, the Oscars of the photography world!

About Me

I'm an internationally award-winning pet photographer, digital artist, and author. My chili has won a few trophies as well! I live in Grove City, Ohio with a multitude of pets and a very patient school teacher. I love meeting new people and am more than happy to chat about dogs and photography.

Contact me

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Purchase “Setterly Yours”

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The Lisping What?

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If you're curious as to how this blog got its name, check out the Model Spotlight post about Finch. He's The Lisping Dog!

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SHARING IS CARING!

Silver Screen Kitty

Today I wanted to give you a glimpse of the editing behind “Silver Screen Kitty”, one of two of my Loan images in the 2017 International Photographic Competition. Aside from some work in shelters, I haven’t had much luck photographing cats and certainly never in studio. I have a cat at home named “Boo”, aptly so because he’s pretty skittish and would never consent to a studio shoot. Imagine my surprise when I walked in one afternoon and found Boo drowsing in one of the prop chairs right in front of a left-over lighting set-up from an earlier shoot. I quietly went around turning all the strobes and triggers back on and grabbed the camera. I got one shot – this one, before he took off. It’s nothing spectacular – that fur blanket is all bunched up around him but I was pleased to have finally caught a decent image of my skittish fifteen year old. I played around with it a bit and decided that it had more impact in black and white. I changed the crop, tweaked a few adjustment layers, and voila: I needed another portrait to round out my case for our state level print competition so I decided to put this one. We call these “case fillers”. They’re not images we shoot for competition and they’re generally not images we expect to score particularly well. But when you’re paying to compete with four images and you only have three… you find another to get your money’s worth! I ran it by my mentor and she made a few suggestions – take out part of the chair arm and even out the background exposure. In our Spring State Print Competition, I submitted “Silver Screen Kitty”. It scored an 82, was challenged, and re-scored at 84! This was a pleasant surprise and my case filler just found a permanent spot in my portrait case! Here is the recorded challenge from the State competition:   I took the judges feedback to heart and went back in and made a few edits. I brought down the brightness on the right side of the image, cloned out the odd bump in the blanket in front of the cat, and toned down the texture of the blanket so it didn’t compete with the cat. It was also suggested that I tighten up the crop, so I played a bit with the warp tool in PS and managed to crop off the straight piece of the chair arm and shortened the body of the cat. Yes, that’s a fair amount of editing and sure, it would be great to get images perfect in camera but, especially with pets, sometimes you have to fudge a bit. This was the final image that I submitted to District Print Competition: The image scored an 83, was challenged, and finished with an 87! Remember our print competition scoring goes like this: Exceptional 100-95 Superior 94-90 Excellent 89-85 Deserving of a Merit 84-80 Above Average 79-75 Average 74-70 Below Exhibition Standards 69-65 An image that scores 85 through 94 is automatically sealed through the first round of judging at International Photographic Competition so that it proceeds directly to Loan judging. So Silver Screen Kitty was in the running for a Loan! This image was judged as a Loan Image during International judging and will be joining the prestigious PPA Loan Collection!  

About Me

I'm an internationally award-winning pet photographer, digital artist, and author. My chili has won a few trophies as well! I live in Grove City, Ohio with a multitude of pets and a very patient school teacher. I love meeting new people and am more than happy to chat about dogs and photography.

Contact me

Social Media

Purchase “Setterly Yours”

Instagram

The Lisping What?

The Lisping What?

If you're curious as to how this blog got its name, check out the Model Spotlight post about Finch. He's The Lisping Dog!

Recent Posts

SHARING IS CARING!

A Whiter Shade of Pale

Here’s how I created my 2017 International Photographic Competition Merit print – “A Whiter Shade of Pale”. One of PPA’s print competition rules is that you can only use the same subject once. That means that my favorite in-house models, Sparrow and Finch, can only have one portrait each. So this year I drafted some of the rest of our pack – Piper, Apollo, and even the cat got their portraits done. I was not optimistic about asking our six year old Akbash, Piper, to pose for me in studio. She’s never done any modeling work for me and she’s extremely sensitive to any sort of negative feedback. Even “stay” can make her nervous. At 96lbs and an impressive 6 foot reach, she’s not a dog you can man-handle. Even getting our working guard dog to leave her post and lounge around on an ottoman was going to be a challenge. Boy, did she prove me wrong. Piper was a PRO. She sauntered into the studio like she owned it and, once she was assured there were some treats involved, she climbed up on the ottoman and gave me some of the best shots of her that I’d ever taken!
Although I loved her expression and the contrast on the dark background in the image on the left, there were some technical issues that would not have fared well in competition. So I decided to work on the image on the lighter background. Her pose was a little awkward, though. I wondered if I could possibly get Piper back into the studio for a reshoot. Turns out, she was more than willing. A better pose, a little tweaking of color gradients, and cleaning up the background and I had my first image ready for judging at our state spring print competition! I titled it, “Little Miss Manners”.
It scored an 80, was challenged, and then re-scored at 78. If you’re not familiar with print competition, this is the scoring range: Exceptional 100-95 Superior 94-90 Excellent 89-85 Deserving of a Merit 84-80 Above Average 79-75 Average 74-70 Below Exhibition Standards 69-65 In order to get a Merit image, you have to score 80 or above. Only images that score 85 and above will be considered for Loan judging. So 78… not even close. If you’re interested in why it was scored that way, the challenge was recorded:   This is the part of the process where makers have a tendency to yell at the computer if they’re watching the judging online. I did not have any sort of blur or lightening on that leg or shoulder but what matters isn’t what you have or haven’t done, but what the judges are seeing. So I had some edits to make before the PPA Northeast District competition. I got recommendations from my peers, sent the image off to my mentor, but I still had some serious banding issues on that seamless background where I couldn’t get a clean color. At the last minute, I decided to add a textured digital background and this is the image I submitted to the District competition with a new title of “A Whiter Shade of Pale”. It scored an 83, acceptable… then was CHALLENGED… and scored an 86! This put the image solidly into the “Excellent” category and “sealed” it for judging at the International competition! At IPC, there are two rounds of judging – images that score 85 and above go on to a second round of judging for the Loan Collection. With a score of 86 at Districts, “A Whiter Shade of Pale” skipped the first round of IPC judging and went automatically for the Loan judging. Unfortunately, the image didn’t “Loan” at IPC and will remain in the 2017 General Collection but I’m quite happy with it. And a general collection image gives me one more merit towards my Master of Photography degree!

About Me

I'm an internationally award-winning pet photographer, digital artist, and author. My chili has won a few trophies as well! I live in Grove City, Ohio with a multitude of pets and a very patient school teacher. I love meeting new people and am more than happy to chat about dogs and photography.

Contact me

Social Media

Purchase “Setterly Yours”

Instagram

The Lisping What?

The Lisping What?

If you're curious as to how this blog got its name, check out the Model Spotlight post about Finch. He's The Lisping Dog!

Recent Posts

SHARING IS CARING!