Every time around this year I start to get the jitters…not bad or good jitters, just jitters of excitement because I get to print my favorite images of the year and enter them into the WPPI 16 x 20 print competition. The first time I ever went to WPPI and watched the print competition judging I was amazed and felt I learned more from the judging than any seminar, mainly because it taught me a good image is more than just the technical, it is about the whole process. There are a million competitions out there, but very few print competitions left in this digital era. In this digital world creating a powerful image that can still be printed appears to be a lost art. While I have thought this for quite a awhile, going to WPPI and looking at all the amazing prints has inspired me that people are still creating printable photographic artwork.
So why the question “What happened to Fine Art?”
For me personally and as photographer this was a year of growth for me. While I enjoy photographing weddings, portraits, and boudoir sessions, my main goal for 2009 was to create personal images for me that helped express who I am as a woman and a photographer. I felt that exploring this personal side of my art would ultimately make me better with the images I create for my clients. Since I was quite focused on creating images rather than “competition” I didn’t quite notice that WPPI had changed around their categories a bit by taking out some old and adding some new. Unfortunately, the one category they removed was the “Fine Art” category. At first I thought I was being a little over dramatic about the whole no “fine art” category….but when I went to pick up some prints from the amazing Robert Cavalli I learned I wasn’t alone. While I understand that WPPI stands for Wedding and Portrait Photographers International….there are currently more than just wedding and portrait categories, so why remove fine art (especially when it was a category in the past)?! WPPI is such a great organization and the convention is an opportunity to teach the newbies out there that photography is not just about making money. Photography is also an artform, so what message is being put out there by removing this category?
Below I have listed the categories for 2010…which puts me at a loss for where to put some of my images, my competition images are below so feel free to comment and let me know where they go!! I really only have five days to figure this out, so any help is highly appreciated!
As you can see, I am at loss. I consider most of my work fine art. A few images can pass as fashion or portraiture, especially since there are people in them…but are they really??? If you plan on attending WPPI…look for me….I’ll be wearing the button that says “What happened to Fine Art” (let me know if you want one and I will get you a button)!
Bride and Groom Together
Bride or Groom Alone
High School Senior
Group (i.e., group consists of two or more individuals in a photo)
Here are the images….(I’m thinking most are going to fall into individual portrait, commercial/fashion, or glamour/boudior).