Double Diamond International Awards!

I really should blog more, there are certainly a lot of people that check it out each day but running a business, making happy clients, and spending time with family certainly takes up a lot of time!  Keep an eye on my facebook and instagram for my most recent work!

I have been honored with many state and national awards but really haven’t taken the time to post anything so I figured now might be a good time to at least mention some recent ones.   I was recently honored with some very big awards.  PPA (Professional Photographers of America) holds an international competition each year.  There are two main categories – Photographic Open and Master Artist.  You can enter up to four prints in each category.  A panel of jurors then judges the prints.  The best of the best are accepted into a “Loan” collection. It can be very difficult to get a “Loan”.  This year all 8 of my entries were accepted as loan  Only four of PPA’s 27,000 members have done this in the 140 year history of the organization.  Getting four loans in any category qualifies one for International Photographer of the Year status.

I am also excited because this year I will be speaking at PPA’s annual convention in Nashville which attracts around 10,000 other photographers.

This first image was from a senior session. Her mother had seen my work and wanted an ethereal art piece to display in their home. We printed this as a 60″ canvas and it looks unbelievably stunning!   If you look closely there are lots of other little elements that can be seen like a V of geese and a small farm and silo in the background.  I love little details that help create a story!



My 2nd International Photographic Exhibition Loan Print. Titled “Turf War” It was originally created for Union Football but as I was putting it together I realized that I couldn’t see the individual players well enough for what the parents were going to want so I ended up using another idea for the team poster. I really loved the uniqueness of this version though so I took some extra time later to really bring the details together.



My 3rd International Photographic Exhibition Loan Print. Helping me achieve International Diamond Photographer of the Year status. The image was titled “The Last Menagerie” I photographed the carousel while exploring an abandoned amusement park alone (it was actually quite scary) The animals were photographed in a zoo. At the time I was disappointed I didn’t get any real action from any of them but they were certainly perfect to use for this composite.



My 4th International Photographic Exhibition Loan Print.  I created this for a bride who had a Vera Wang wedding dress.  For me this image is one of my greatest prides because the entire staircase is hand drawn.  I was jealous of some of the amazing venues in Europe and wanted to see what I could create.  I used an image I found for inspiration and drew the starway.  It took many days but was a great study in light and shadow!



One of my Master Artist international ward winning images. Inspired by the super popular series “Game of Thrones” – I called it “Throne of Games”. In the Master Artist Category they ask you to show some of the elements that were used to create the image. Each element of the throne was photographed separately and then layered together to create the throne. The room and steps are hand drawn. The ref is my father who I added a long grizzled beard to in photoshop. No hair and makeup required! This was originally created for a cheer team showing off all the sports from their school in the throne but they “didn’t get it” so I had to remove the throne – Oh well, whatever it takes to make a client happy!



I created this poster for Bettendorf Swimming last year and it was one of my international award winning images in the master artist category. The elements below are what I used to create the poster. The pirate ship was hand drawn.  I really wanted to draw a pirate ship so I came up with this scene but didn’t figure out a motto until the team actually arrived.  I think “Surrender the treasure, we’re here for the gold” is a pretty great motto!



Another of my international award winning images in the master artist category. I created this awhile ago for the Wilton track team but only four prints are allowed in the digital category and I create many many posters each year so unfortunately some get left behind.  The elements that I use for my posters are generally places and things that I have photographed before on random trips and have stored away in a library of many thousands of images.



My fourth international award winning image in the master artist category. I created this for Bettendorf High School. The poster that I created for them the year before also won many international awards. Need to start my brain thinking for this years poster!

Many of my images are greatly inspired by paintings and drawings both past and present.  I have always had a fascination for “Raft of the Medusa” by Theodore Gericault since my art history days in college.  Giving that a modern, tough, sports twist – I created this sports poster but always wanting to push myself further I decided to add an underwater scene so I added some sharks that I had some images of from a trip to the aquarium then hand drew a pirate ship (I really like pirate ships)

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