When I have a conversation with other photographers about the PPOC, generally the comments boil down to “what’s in it for me?” I’m going to tell you now 🙂
This past 2 weeks has been full of amazing changes for me. The Professional Photographers of Canada just held their annual conference in Ottawa, and I was thrilled to be able to join all of my peers at likely the best photography event I’ve ever attended. I know that when I speak about the PPOC, many people question what it stands for. I find myself explaining it often, but I have a new description to add. Comradery. There is a huge feeling of this when I am among a group so large, of people who have a common goal. We exist partly to help in “raising the general standard of photographic craftsmanship”. (quoted from our PPOC code of ethics). There are no “adolescent type cliques”, there is only a feeling of welcomeness.
My four days there were filled with learning from industry leaders such as Joe McNally, Drake Busath, David Williams (who made that incredible image of me laughing!!) , Joel Grimes, and Tracie Maglosky. It doesn’t matter how seasoned you are, we can all learn something from our speakers!! There was a two day Trade Show where you can connect with your favorite vendors and find new ones too. So much better to be able to see and feel products in person! I Connected with old friends and made several new ones. As usual, at least one night was filled with too much wine consumption but the memories made are unforgettable. And then there’s the Awards Banquet. This is always a very lavish affair. A delicious four course meal awaits us all. Up next is the awards. The recipients are always dressed to the nines, and when they walk through the crowd to receive their awards, their own excitement seems to fill the entire room.
I wish I had taken photos of at least one of the recipients as she found her way through the crowd. She had a look of almost shock, disbelief. I know exactly how she felt, because I was there last year. Pure humbleness. I didn’t get to take that walk this time, but those who did, deserved it immensely. Such an amazing honor to be nominated for Best In Class in the Fine Art category!!! Very tough competition!! I did however get these accolades during print competition (which I’ve been dying to share but wanted to wait for the ribbons 🙂 )
Judges Choice, Loan Collection, Excellence:
Dedicated professionals. Unity. Strong national identity. These are some words from the “About” section on the PPOC website. When attending the conference, you feel it. You see it. You ARE it.
Lastly, I just wanted to share a few words from one of our newest Ontario members, Melissa Roy.
“I just wanted to send out a huge thank you to everyone in the PPOC and those that helped organize the International Photo Conference – Congrès International de la Photo. It was my first conference and my first event with the PPOC after almost a year membership.
I have been on the fence as to the “value” of the membership and as to whether or not it was worth it to renew. I am generally a very shy person when it comes to meeting new people – but for the most part, everyone at this conference was so kind and outgoing, I am less fearful to attend future events and I see the value of a network that can help me grow in this industry.
I am thankful for the learning opportunities that were provided by the speakers, and for all of the people whom I spoke to that are so willing to offer a hand on pushing forward with becoming a better photographer, and (hopefully) getting my accreditation(s).
Well done everyone. I look forward to what the year ahead as a member of PPOC has to offer me, and I will be sure to put myself out there a little bit more”
Last month was the annual PPOC National Salon competition, where photographers from all over Canada submit their work to be inspected, scrutinized, magnified, critiqued, you name it, by a panel of qualified judges. Each of these judges must have a minimum of Craftsman of Photographic Arts (my next goal within the PPOC) and have been trained as jurors, to be able to review the submissions. To be accepted into the Salon exhibition is no easy task, and often makes me sick to my stomach to even think of entering. . . but it’s the critique from the judges that we’re hungry for. . .
So onto the judging, we are lucky to be able to stream it live over the weekend as they are judging. I entered the maximum four images. This was the only one that made it in, scoring an “Accepted”. I was fine with that, and stopped watching once all of my images had been judged. It is also possible for an image to be re scored, and it wasn’t until I received my email a week later that I found out it had indeed been re-scored, to a Merit!! I was shocked and elated. Phew!! This takes away the disappointment of the other three not hanging in the show.
Fast forward a month. .National Convention (this year being held in Calgary) was just this past week. I was excited and nervous, having never attended I wasn’t sure what to expect. Well, (I’m STILL excited as I type this) my image received a Best In Class at the award ceremonies!! I think I was still in shock from winning a prize of $500 towards anything PPOC related, just moments before. . . at this point I am looking forward to attending the 2017 National Convention in Ottawa. 🙂
As for the story of “Take Good Care of my Baby”. . . this bride and groom were my first wedding clients of 2016. . the love, tenderness, and warmth of the ceremony is all I can remember, January’s bitter cold is well overshadowed by the moments I witnessed on this day. As the bride was escorted down the aisle, I got into position to capture the usual kiss a bride gives her daddy, but before the groom takes her hand, her father pulls him in close, and BAM! Perfection captured!! I knew exactly what to title this image as soon as I saw the moment unfolding in front of me. I am also a little surprised it was not blurry. . . I get very teary eyed at most every wedding I shoot at this particular moment!! To be honest, there were quite a few PJ moments I considered entering, but I could only enter one, so glad I chose this one. 🙂