IPPA weekend

Last weekend was the Illinois Press Photographer Associations annual Convention. This year's was in St. Louis (Don't ask).
Jordan and I made the trek down to check out the yearly contest judging and speakers from papers and schools around the country.
One of the speakers I was more excited to see was freshly minted Western Kentucky University teacher Josh Meltzer. Click his name and be ready to see some photographic greatness.
Had I still been there, Mr. Meltzer would be my teacher right now so it was great to see him and get a chance to talk about photography and all I am missing at WKUPJ.

Speaker/Conference room.

As mentioned numerous other times on this blog, the great Mr. Beck Diefenbach hard at work as the new IPPA web and multimedia mad man.

A few random snaps between speakers on Saturday.

The weekend was made all the sweeter when I found out that I had won Illinois Student Photographer of the year.
I love entering contests and especially love watching the judging. I believe that watching judges bicker about photos is one of the best ways to learn to shoot and edit your own photos. It breaks your heart to see a photo you labored to get and tediously toned get mercilessly passed on by objective judges.
Anyway, Jordan and I walked in right as they were down to the last few student portfolios. We sat down, looked up and I instantly recognized the photos on the screen. Jordan's arm may be black and blue from "gentle" nudges I gave her signaling (as if she hadn't seen the photos hundreds of times) that it was my portfolio that was getting ripped to shreds.
One got knocked out and it was down to mine and one other. After some short debate it was settled and the moderator restated that this was the winning portfolio.
It took all I had not to jump out of my seat and scream like a little girl, but I could not believe it. After what seemed like an hour (actual time 5 minutes) everyone reconvened and looked at the winners in all the singles categories and then finally the portfolios, which confirmed that I had won.

Big Congrats also to Will Deshazer (also a Western grad) for winning Illinois Photographer of the Year. I would highly recommend checking out his work HERE.