Portrait Masters 2023

This picture was judged to place in the top 20 (albeit as no. 20) alongside hundreds of other entries from around the world in the wedding category by international professional photographers who have significant accolades of their own.

When I was a judge in the ICSC Maple Leaf Awards one piece of, somewhat subjective, advice offered to me by a fellow judge stuck with me, and what I want to believe judges feel when they look at art:

”After you’ve given your score, ask yourself, do I wish I was responsible for this entry?”

It isn’t about pride or envy, it is about recognizing that something is worthy.

That sinks in.

If you’d like to see some inspiring, best-in-the-world as judged by professionals in the industry (as in, not a popularity contest) portrait photography click this LINK

Ottawa Street Portraits with Keriana

Keriana is a competitor in Irish Dance who I’ve been photographing since she was a baby. 

I’ve been discussing making Ottawa street portraits with her mother, Laura, for a few years along the lines of the work by Jordan Matter.

The Byward Market was a natural choice followed by a walk to the Rideau Canal Celtic Cross.

Portrait Masters Entries January 2023

There is so much I like about entering the Portrait Masters Awards but at the forefront of my appreciation is that it is not a popularity contest. Each photograph is judged by masters of photography, entrants don’t need to reach out to their friends/family/followers for votes. Knowing that this is a worldwide awards program with the photographs being scored by experts the pictures cannot just be beautiful, they need to jump off the screen with a unique quality of the subject, connection, story, composition, and editing. I like/love all of the pictures I get to make so this is a bit like choosing favourite children. After scanning through pictures made last year I’ve chosen these three pictures (so far) for the judges to consider. 

Wedding Portrait Category - the connection between the Bride and her father before she entered the church is really sweet…and, because I was using a 14mm lens, I was able to capture the look back of the guy in the car that was passing by, it creates a dynamic image that is filled with details to look at. 

Contemporary Portrait Category - Johnny Vegas came to the studio for pictures last winter and was relaxed enough to perform-pose-connect at the moment while I snapped away. Johhny and I talked about it yesterday and he thought he looked like a stand-up comedian (Rodney Dangerfield-esque) and I see that combined with the showman expressiveness that he brings to all of his performances. 

Documentary Portrait Category - “Santa in his downtime” Santa and I traveled to a Stittsville park in early November looking to make promotional videos and portraits and, while this seems to be inspired (a little bit) by a famous meme, it was a moment where I had Santa look at the camera with a serious face. Is Santa lonely? maybe he’s exhausted after delivering gifts? With a lot of potential interpretations, I couldn’t see this being used to promote him, but from the pose, location, composition, and connection it has an interesting story that can go in a lot of directions.

Portrait Masters Awards

It’s been years since I’ve indulged myself by entering any kind of juried photograph competition. That changed in September when I decided to enter these pictures into the international Portrait Masters Awards organized by Sue Bryce Education with a jury of Master Photographers using their daunting judging criteria applied to 4,306 entries. 1st picture: BronzeContemporary Portrait CategoryI was at Billings Bridge preparing the studio for Easter Bunny pictures when there was a knock on the door - I answered and Luamah asked me if I could take his picture to send home to Africa. We spent the next fifteen minutes making some fairly typical pictures and then I switched gears to make this more dramatic portrait.2nd Picture: Bronze with Distinction Documentary Portrait CategoryThis is a new “challenge” category and when I watched Tony Carter introduce this part of the competition I knew exactly which picture to enter. When Brendan and Jannel told me that they wanted to make their engagement pictures at the family Homestead last May I knew that the, more than 2 hours, drive to Renfrew County would be worth it. I’m so thankful to them for allowing me to make more organic - storytelling - portraits with them as well as the more traditional engagement pictures. If you are interested in seeing all of the winning images check them out at this link where you’ll find a lot of inspiring images.https://suebryceeducation.com/award-galleries/Style evolves over time and I’m updating my offerings, branding and niched-down websites to reflect those changes.Website dedicated to People-Portrait photography:www.frankfenn.caWebsite dedicated to Architectural-Commercial photography:www.idea3.xyzWebsite dedicated to Santa Claus photography:www.holidaystudio.ca

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