PRESS RELEASE | Grove City, OH – March 15, 2017The Professional Photographers of Ohio (PPO) held their annual convention in Shelby, Ohio at the Kehoe Center, March 10th through 12th. Approximately 350 photographers attended lectures, a trade show, swapped stories with fellow professionals, and participated in an image competition. The competition judging was completed on Saturday and awards were handed out that evening where Danica Barreau, of Pouka Fine Art Pet Portraits in Grove City, was awarded the Studio Pro Group Pictorial Award for one of her composite images in the Artist category and was named one of the Top Ten Photographers in Ohio.
OK, that’s the official story! I flew back from a business trip in Denver just in time to drive up to Shelby to attend Photo Blast, the spring convention for PPO. I’d been stressing out for a couple weeks because, in addition to participating in the state image competition, I was also taking the written portion of my Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) exam. That meant that I’d been memorizing formulas for bellows factors, guide numbers, and exposure compensation equations as well as learning about lighting ratios, color theory, equipment calibration, and software usage. Yeah, it’s intense. All while prepping images for the critiquing of judges.
I attended the judging in person for the first time and that was a lot of fun. And about as nerve-wracking as you might expect when your own images come up for review! You sit in a dark room, silently watching as five judges examine and score images as they roll around (the images, not the judges). The fun part is always the “Challenge!” when a judge disagrees with the final score and then all five judges get to talk about it, and then re-score. Although challenges are stressful because that initial score could go up or down, it’s very interesting hearing the judges’ thought processes and the things that you could fix on your image to make it better. Even if you sometimes disagree, you have to keep completely quiet!!
The final scores from the judging were not quite what I was expecting. I scored lower on some images that I thought would do quite well and higher on images that I put in at the last minute to fill my case. In the end, on my eleven submissions, I scored one “Excellent”, five “Deserving of Merit”, and five “Above Average”. I was hoping for a few more “excellents” but those scores are solid and better than I’ve done in the past. Of course, I can’t share any images until after the International Competition later this summer, sorry.
I do want to send a shout-out to the organizers of “Photo Blast” as well as to the PPO chairs, the speakers, judges, and all my fellow photographers. It was a great convention – I learned a lot and spent a lot of money, too. And of course, it’s always nice to see familiar faces and ooh and ahh over spectacular artwork. A special shout-out to my friend Susan Gertz who was crowned THE top photographer in Ohio! I always like to see talent recognized but it makes it super sweet when it’s a fellow pet photographer!!
What comes next? I’m waiting on confirmation that I’ve passed the written CPP exam and then I have to start building a portfolio of 15 images for the last part of the certification process. I’m making edits to those images that were challenged during the state competition so that I can submit them to Districts in the next two weeks. And I have to do some triage as I can only have eight images in the District and International Competition so three of those labors of love will have to go.
In between all that, I’m still working on client artwork! I haven’t forgotten about you!!