This year’s WPPI was the best ever! After attending this amazing event for the 19th time, I really had a chance to make an impact on the amazing world of photography! First of all, out of nearly hundred judges from all over the world, I was the only African American male judge. This truly is an amazing accomplishment in itself as this iconic convention is comprised of photographers from 33 different countries. I was truly blessed to be on the panel with some of the most sought after photographers in the world: Bambi Cantrell, Christian Lalonde, Justine Ungaro, Gary Hughes, James Musselwhite and the amazing Michele Celentano as her awesome Chairperson! What made it the best ever was having the opportunity not only judging, but speaking on the diversity panel thanks to the improbable Arlene Evens, WPPI Show Director. Arlene also selected me as a judge in the WPPI 2nd half 16×20 print competition which was truly an amazing opportunity and a blessing!
Another amazing aspect of this year’s show was being a Brand Amabassador for Light & Motion. I had an opportunity to meet and network with the other brand ambassadors and conduct an awesome water shoot that was truly the highlight of the show. Special thanks to Daniel Everson and Jeannine Frest in your trust and belief in me representing your amazing Stella Pro Lighting System!
Despite falling short on my personal competition entries, 79,78,78,78,77,77,77, 76, 76, 75 respectfully, by judging and impacting lives took on a whole greater meaning. Of course I wanted to win just like everyone else, but to be a judge with the best photographers in the world and blessing others was truly a bigger blessing than any individual award I have ever received. Especially when you challenge your panel for something that you believe in your heart is deserving of a merit and you’re able to articulate it in such an impeccable fashion is truly a thing a beauty! I’ve had several photographers come to me and thank me for fighting for their print and received their first award every. This truly warms my heart!
Special thanks to Tony Hewitt, Rocco Ancora, Jerry and Melissa Ghionis, the judges, print handlers and all of the photographers who participated in this amazing photographic movement called the WPPI. Hope to see you all next year so we can continue inspire, cultivate and educate the next generation of photographers!!!