Award Winning Photography | "Match Point"

Ever since I shared the news of my award winning photo (YAY!), I’ve had lots of questions about photography competitions. I will do my best to answer those questions here. But first, let’s admire Joe the Volleyball Player….

“Match Point”

“Match Point”

The first thing about photography competitions is that it is NOT a race with one single winner. Each image in a competition is essentially graded in its own race.

When you submit an image into a competition, usually there’s a specific category. For example, this one was submitted into the Boy/Sports Category. Usually it’s more general than that - portrait, album, illustrative, etc. - but this was a conference for high school senior photography.

Next, the judges give points to an image based on 12 different elements that Professional Photographers of America has created as an industry measurement. I won’t bore you with all the details, but the 12 elements essentially boil down to two aspects:

CREATIVE and TECHNICAL

Is the image impactful? Does it tell a story?

Is the image technically sound? Is the lighting, color and composition on point?

It’s no coincidence that these are the categories that I (subconsciously) use to determine if an image is “client-worthy”. If it’s good enough for a client, it very well may be good enough for competition.

And that brings up another point. THE point.

When you hire me, I am NOT focused on shooting for competition. No, ma’am! My numero uno is YOU. I want to get your good side. I want to capture you in the best light. I want to show you your image on the back of my camera and hear you gasp with joy. I want you to be utterly blown away by your portraits and walk out of my studio absolutely GLOWING.

The competition aspect comes later as validation that yes, I’m serving my clients well and worthy of their business.

It’s a full-circle moment when a client loves an image it and then later, it scores well - even MERITING an award! - in a competition.

That’s a real win-win, isn’t it?


Okay, I have to share this. Here’s the fun part… the dark, shadowy and dramatic photo of Joe (go on, scroll back up and glance at it again) was taken in a FULLY LIT GYM. Seriously!

Check it out…. here’s a behind the scenes photo. See? It’s fully lit with ugly, unflattering fluorescent gym lights.

Oh, the power and magic of photography.

behind the scenes with Joe at Wauwatosa West HS

behind the scenes with Joe at Wauwatosa West HS


Do you want to have some fun with your senior photos? Do you want to do something different, memorable and attention-grabbing? Let’s talk! I’m now booking the class of 2020. Check out the MKEseniors page here.