This past weekend was a whirl-wind of convention awesomeness. This years Northern Light Convention was hosted by Minnesota and held in Breezy Point. The theme was “Be a Rockstar” and was the weekend was packed with Rockstar goodness. I had the opportunity to sit in on some amazing programs, filling my head and a notebook full of amazing ideas to impliment now that I’m home. I was a Co-Chair for the Tradeshow and I had a lot of fun running around chatting with vendors and taking a peek at all the goodies they had to offer while making sure they had everything they needed. I would also like to give a shout out to all my student volunteers – you guys rocked my socks off and we’re a HUGE help! So many things would not have been accomplished without your help. Thank you THANK YOU!
I also had a breif opportunity to help with the print judging – one of my favorite parts of Convention. I love listening to the judges talk about the prints, learning from what they see, and growing as a photographer. It is amazing to witness and something I think every photographer should experience. To take that one step further, entering print competition yourself is an even bigger must. Learning to view my work in regards to the 12 elements of a Merit Photograph as established by the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) has made me a better photographer. Hands down. Its that simple.
This year, I set a personal goal for myself to hang at least 3 of my 4 prints. By this, I mean that I wanted at least 3 of my 4 prints to score 80 or above to be in the catagory of Deserving of a Merit. On Sunday night, I accomplished that goal. I had been so busy with the tradeshow that it actually took me until about 11:30p that night to find all my prints and their scores. But it was worth it – woohoo for blowing that goal out of the water! My competition prints for 2011 were:
“Abandoned” – Accepted into the MN Loan Collection. Adorn with a beautiful blue ribbon.
“Are We Done Yet?” – Accepted into the MN Loan Collection. Adorn with a beautiful blue ribbon.
“Cultural Instincts” – Accepted into the MN Loan Collection. Adorn with a beautiful blue ribbon.
“With You By My Side” – Adorn with a beautiful red ribbon.
I am so happy with all the results! It was an amazing year and I am very proud to have my work displayed with all the other amazing prints entered into competition. To add icing to the cake, Monday night during the awards ceremony, I was humbled and honored to receive a Non-Master Photographer Court of Honor Award.
For reference, the Non-Master Photographer Court of Honor Award is given to the Non-Master professional photographer with the top three highest scoring prints by a Non-Master photographer in the regional print competition judged by a panel of 7 nationally trained print competition judges from around the country. (Whew! That’s kind of a mouth full!) It was a fantastic and humbling feeling to be honored with such an award.
All in all, a fantastic weekend! I want to thank everyone for making the weekend a success! Besides the students I gave a shout out to earlier, I want to thank MNPPA President Sheri Wegner and Executive Director Nicole Bugnacki for all their help with the tradeshow and everything else. You both rock!
And for all you photographers out there reading this, I strongly encouage you to be a part of your local PPA affiliates and print competitions. The MNPPA is an amazing organization that I am proud to be a member and a board member of. For more infomation about this amazing group and its fantastic photographer and vendor members, visit: http://www.mnppa.com/
Join! You will have a blast, form amazing personal and professional relationships, grow and learn as a photographer, and so much more! There’s even an event coming up March 20-21st – I’d love to meet you there!
PS – Just a little more Rockstar fun!
Sonny and Cher – I got you babe! Rocking out at the opening night Tradeshow Party! Too Much FUN! (pardon the image quality – it was a very quick snap on the phone.)
(….and yes, I am aware that I look like Groucho Marx….but the clothes are totally Sonny Bono. Just use your imagination Also, facial hair makes it next to impossible to eat – and turns your fingers black….)