If you asked me what my biggest goal competition-wise was, I’d always answer “Winning the WPPI Grand Award : Weddings.”  My competitive streak is one of the things that always pushes me to be a better photographer, and when I enter a competition I’m competing against myself more than anything else!  I want to see my scores go up from the year before.  I want to see myself reach a new Honors of Excellence title.

Two amazing things happened at this year’s WPPI 16×20 print competition results awards night.  The first thing was achieving Triple Master status with WPPI.  What does this even mean?  Every time you enter a print into a competition, you receive points based on the score of your top four prints.  Anything that receives a score of over a 90 receives two points, an 80 or above receives one point, and an 85 or above receives one and a half points.  It’s hard enough to get a score over an 80, much less to rise to that elusive 90+ range!  Receiving the status of Triple Master means that I’ve received a cumulative score of over FIFTY POINTS.  Crazy, huh?

There are only eight photographers with scores higher than mine in all of WPPI and you know what that means?  It means that I’m going to constantly push myself to receive my Grand Master status, and to rise higher.  Why?  Not for any trophies or awards, but to push myself to become a better photographer.  I am always striving to learn new things and evolve my skills, because capturing wedding images for my clients is just that important to me!  If you’re a client (or potential client, hi!) of mine, please know that I will always be working hard for you.  Not for a competition or for points in a status system, but for you.  Always.

The biggest honor of the night came when I won First Place in Weddings : Bride and Groom Together.  The competition is broken into multiple categories, and each category has sub-categories.  The Weddings category has Bride and Groom Together, Bride or Groom Alone, Wedding Party : Family and Friends, and Wedding Details.  Each sub-category is awarded a first, second, and third place.  Bride and Groom Together is such a huge category that I was floored when I won First!  After each category receives their placements, all of the first place winners are judged together for a Grand Award.

And I won.

WPPI Grand Award : Weddings

First Place : Wedding : Bride and Groom Together. Grand Award : Weddings.

I am so thrilled, honored, and blown away.  Thank you to to the judges of the 16×20 Print Competition for awarding this print the WPPI Grand Award : Weddings.  Thank you to Nikon for making the D750, the most versatile and incredible camera that I have ever used.  Thank you to Oheka Castle for being so welcoming, warm, and generous with your event space.  Thank you to Capture to Print for creating such a perfect print from my digital file.

Most of all, thank you to Mio and Agustin for allowing me into your lives and your wedding day.  This image would be nothing without your infectious warmth, kindness, and love for each other.  It was an honor to capture this moment for you both.  Awards are nice, but happy clients are far, far more important!  I thank you both from the bottom of my heart.  Thank you, thank you.