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WPPI 2002 A Huge Success

The Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) Convention and Trade Show, held at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas (March 10-14), was the organization's biggest and best event to date. More than 5,000 people attended WPPI, with a large number of attendees coming from around the world. Many vendors reported record sales and interest.

WPPI's annual 16x20 print competition, held at the convention, garnered more than 1,000 entries and produced some astonishing photography. The platform speakers this year represented not only the best photographers in the U.S., but also a contingent of great photographers from around the world. Such speakers as Rick Ferro, Bill McIntosh, Denis Reggie, Ken Sklute, and Monte Zucker participated, along with 39 other presenters.

A special DVD presentation of the photography of some of WPPI's most distinguished members was shown on the final evening of the convention. Special industry awards were presented to distinguished photographers participating in this year's print competition by Eastman Kodak (the Kodak Awards of Distinction) and Fuji Photo Film (The Fuji New Approach Awards). Other awards of note were two WPPI Lifetime Achievement awards given to Monte Zucker and Bambi Cantrell. The organization is looking forward to next year's convention and trade show to be held Feb. 2-6 at Bally's Las Vegas.


Ritz Interactive Buys PhotoAlley

Ritz Interactive Inc. has acquired PhotoAlley.com, one of its major e-tail competitors. According to Fred Lerner, president and CEO of Ritz, the PhotoAlley.com branding and URL will remain the same to leverage the website's well-established brand and existing customer base.

This is the second major acquisition for Ritz Interactive within the last year. In October 2001, the Irvine-based company acquired WolfCamera.com. Ritz Interactive's flagship site, RitzCamera.com, is a major online shopping destination for photographic products and accessories, the company said.

The New York Times Grabs Double Photo Pulitzers

© Vincent Laforet © Vincent Laforet

In a first for The New York Times, the venerable newspaper's photography department won Pulitzer Prizes in both the breaking news and feature categories: breaking news for a body of work by 14 photographers who covered the events of Sept. 11, and feature for five photographers' work in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Among the winning shooters represented in the feature photo category is Vincent Laforet, one of the contributors to Studio Photography & Design's April feature on the Olympics. The other winners in the feature category are Stephen Crowley, Ruth Fremson, James Hill, and Chang W. Lee.

The winners in the breaking news category are Suzanne DeChillo, Angel Franco, Ruth Fremson, Kelly Guenther, George Gutierrez, Edward Keating, Justin Lane, Chang W. Lee, Steve Ludlum, Brian Manning, Keith Meyers, Andrea Mohin, Krista Niles, and Nancy Siesel.

"We'd never won a photo Pulitzer at The Times...so this was an even bigger deal than most people realized! I feel very, very lucky—and it's an awesome honor," Laforet said in an e-mail to SP&D.

Way to go, Vincent—and congratulations to all the winners!


© Gina Mitchell-Ryall
Olympus E-20N
© Joe Ellis—Olympus Camedia E-10
Space Missions Chronicled With Olympus Cameras

Members of Johnson Control's Aerospace Imaging have been using the Olympus "E" Series digital cameras for more than a year during rocket and shuttle missions. Equipment used for missions varies, but the Olympus E-10 and E-20N are popular models.

"The Olympus E-20N has all the features that a professional photographer needs," says Gina Mitchell-Ryall, a photographer at Johnson Control Aerospace Imaging in Florida. Mitchell-Ryall has been using digital cameras since 1994 on various missions, including the unmanned Atlas rocket missions, multiple shuttle launches and accompanying events like portrait sittings. Mitchell-Ryall and her fellow photographers use the E-20N to document the shuttle missions from start to finish. In addition to cameras, Johnson Control Aerospace Imaging utilizes Olympus digital printers to produce instant prints of the photographs.

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