A big congrats from everybody here to KelbyOne instructor Cliff Mautner who not only took the 1st place at in WPPI’s annual 16×20″ print competition, but he also won 1st place for wedding photojournalism, AND the Grand Award for photojournalism (this was his 2nd time running the Grand Award by the way) at the awards ceremony held on March 4th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
There were more than 3200 images entered from around the globe in various categories, which is fairly awesome unto itself, but while Cliff was there he also received the title of "Double Master of WPPI" with his accumulation of points in this competition. To view a video (and while you’re there, check out Cliff’s Lighting and Skillset Bootcamp, and also check out his new online classes on KelbyOne filmed on location during an actual wedding (it’s a two-part series).
About Cliff’s award-winning photo, above (in Cliff’s words):
“In many traditional weddings when a bride prepares for her wedding at her home, it's common for them to have her father waiting for her at the bottom of the stairs. I had concerns about my ability to capture this moment because of the lack of space between the steps and the front door. I decided to shoot this from inside the living room- thereby using a frame within a frame. I take great pride in never staging a moment like this, and it's rare that all of the elements fall into place the way this did. Her twin sisters followed her down the stairs along with her niece, and her dad, normally a stoic man, was really overcome with emotion. The three ladies were a bit stunned at dad's reaction, and I was able to fire off one single frame with this composition. Those judging the image compared it to a Norman Rockwell illustration that depicted an American wedding. This happened so fast, yet I thought I'd made something pretty special at the time, but I wasn't sure until I went back and chimped on the LCD a few moments later. One frame-one decisive moment, and it was gone. The only thing I did was put myself in the right place at the right time, and the rest was all about my client. I called and thanked them for handing me this moment, because in the end, we're only as good as our clients!”
Please join me in congratulating Cliff on these amazing accomplishments, and my personal thanks to him for his willingness to share the techniques that have made him a celebrated award-winning photographer with all of us. :)

About The Author

Scott is a Photographer, bestselling Author, Host of "The Grid" weekly photography show; Editor of Photoshop User magazine; Lightroom Guy; KelbyOne.com CEO; struggling guitarist. Loves Classic Rock and his arch-enemy is Cilantro. Devoted husband, dad to two super awesome kids, and pro-level babysitter to two crazy doggos.

3 Comments

  1. What a superb shot and well deserved winner, I watched his new classes and they are so good, even if you are not a wedding photog you can learn a lot. Congrats Cliff.

  2. Gorgeous image. You’ve convinced me to join WPPI. I’d really love to attend the conventions and see the judging. I’m positive now that I’ll learn a LOT.

  3. Most everything about that image is wonderful, except for the father. What is he doing? Talking on his cell phone? Looking down accentuates the double chin. It looks like he’s receiving some bad news and it’s reflected in the bride and bridesmaid (on stairs) faces. Since this is somewhat of a staged image, the father and bride could have been looking at each other. The door framing is also slightly askew which bothers me a bit.

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