Women In Photography International (www.womeninphotography.org), created in 1981 as a Los Angeles non-profit outreach organization, has become a premier online resource center for women photographers worldwide.
In 1999, WIPI was energized by the advent of the Internet. Current president Jean Ferro and past director Nancy Clendaniel launched WIPI online with the support of historian Peter Palmquist, whose original WIPI archive is held at the Beinecke Library, Yale University.
Today, WIPI has members in Russia, India, Australia, France, Italy, England, other areas of the world, and strong U.S. representation in California and New York.
Ferro furthers the group's goals by working with select organizations and programs. In 2003, WIPI presented its Distinguished Photographers Award to Annie Leibovitz, at the Lucie Awards in Los Angeles; and in 2004, to Sylvia Plachy, at the American Airlines Theatre in New York.
Says Ferro, "By collaborating, instead of reinventing the wheel, we become a moving part that contributes to the whole."
In this feature, SP&D presents the 10 first-place winners of WIPI's recent online exhibit, "Beauty: Camera Eye of the Beholder."
Says show curator Carrie Villines, "'Beauty' features 122 images by 94 photographers in eight countries, including the U.S., the Czech Republic, and Israel. With jurors from stock agencies, ad agencies, magazines, museums, TV/film—the images show the multi-dimensionality of work by today's female photographers."
Lynn Saville, "Glow" (New York, NY)
Color photograph from negative film printed in a darkroom. No digital manipulation. Shot with Fuji 6x4.5 mounted on a tripod.
"Despite its overuse in fashion, the term 'beauty' retains a Platonic sense of transcendent form. I was, therefore, drawn to this contest, especially because WIPI views women as creators of beauty rather than as beautiful 'objects.' Architectural shapes, viewed in various conditions during twilight, suggest a beauty that goes beyond the everyday, even as it resonates from everyday structures."
– Lynn Saville
Stephanie Graham, "Ghetto Fabulous Brandie" (Chicago, IL)
Image of photographer's 11-year-old cousin is one of 10 in a series of girls dressed up to look like girls who "rock crazy makeup trends." Shot with Nikon F4 and Fuji Provia. Inkjet print.
"This year I told myself I had to enter more photo contests and be more involved in photo groups and such. I always looked at WIPI exhibitions so it's sort of neat and surreal to see one of my images as a part of this exhibition. Beauty to me is attitude. I look at some women walking with their heads high and just imagine them getting ready in the morning and saying to themselves, 'I look beautiful' and no matter what they are wearing, good or bad, makeup or no makeup, they look beautiful. You just have to work it and that's beautiful."
– Stephanie Graham
Lois Mason, "Autumn Flight" (Greenbank, WA)
Composite of two photos taken in the North Cascades of Washington, with a Nikon F100 and Singh-Ray polarizer, mounted on a Gitzo carbon-fiber tripod. Fuji Velvia for the scenic, Fuji Provia 400 for the eagle. Images scanned into Photoshop with a Nikon Super Coolscan. Third image, shot with small digital camera, was blended to create surreal lighting effect.
"I appreciate the opportunities and visibility that WIPI offers women, and I am honored to be part of an organization that promotes excellence and provides the resources for women to excel in this very competitive field of photography.