Industry News

WPPI The Annual Awards: 16 x 20 Print, Album & Filmmaking

August 25, 2021

By Jacqueline Tobin

WPPI The Annual 16 x 20 Print, Album and Filmmaking Competitions—along with its capstone event, the Honors of Excellence Awards Ceremony at the WPPI Conference + Show—is among the most prestigious wedding and portrait photography competitions in the industry. And it was just one week ago that WPPI attendees were donning their fanciest clothes and waiting with bated breath to find out if they would be taking home one or more awards in a variety of categories during the much-anticipated WPPI The Annual awards ceremony in Las Vegas.

Attendees wait for the next award to be announced at the WPPI The Annual Winners 2021 Honors of Excellence Awards Ceremony at The Mirage in Las Vegas. © PWP Studio

The judging process itself is just as mesmerizing to witness as the awards ceremony is to attend. This year’s Live Print, Album and Filmmaking competition judging took place Sunday, August 15 and Monday, August 16, and WPPI attendees had a front-row opportunity to watch entries as they were reviewed and evaluated by experienced judges. Midweek, everyone headed over to the awards ceremony to support their peers and find out who took home awards in the prestigious event.

[Read: WPPI “Packs a Punch” as Community Gathers for First Time in 18 Months]

Grand award and first-place winners include the following photographers, their divisions and categories (view their winning images in the gallery at top):

The competition program’s main goal, says WPPI Content Director Arlene Evans, is to “encourage excellence, educate photographers and motivate them to be constantly committed to their craft and to be recognized by their peers for their achievements.”

[Read: WPPI Competitions Inspire Photographers’ Growth and Creativity]

It’s also a great way, adds Evans, to review your work and see which images are most relevant to your brand. “This year there were 28 categories in 8 divisions to enter, allowing photographers the opportunity to showcase many different areas of their work.”

One of the Competition Chairs, Susan Stripling, told us that “it’s great to hear that judges love your work, but when you enter an image that you thought was a 90 and it gets a 75—and deserves it—that’s where you can grow. It’s easy to get blinded to your own work; having intelligent artists show you where you’re falling short is massively helpful on all levels.”

Erum Rizvi, a talented wedding photographer out of D.C., had this to say about her recent WPPI experience, both judging images and having her own work judged:

“We saw a number of new entrants and seasoned photographers enter into this year’s competition. Images had creativity, imagination coupled with  advanced lighting techniques to keep us all engaged during the judging process. My  panel would discuss and dissect the makers’ choices and give great feedback to help them progress further with nuggets of information.”

As Rizvi can attest, it’s a daunting process to put your work on display and get feedback openly, but many did and she applauds them for having the courage to do so! “I know because I did the same, I entered this year and no matter how seasoned you are, your heart races and getting feedback from the esteemed panel of judges helps me grow and become better! (Rizvi received 5 silvers, 1 silver distinction and 3rd place for Wedding Details and Decor.) 

“I enjoyed seeing everyone’s work and the hard work they’ve put into their images, it was such a wonderful experience and I’m honored to be part of such a talented photography community,” she summed up. “I’ve learned so much from my panel, my chair and the entrants!”

See the full list of WPPI The Annual 16 x 20 Print, Album and Filmmaking Competitions winners HERE.