By Mary A Wallace, CPP

Studio: Elements of Light Photography™, LLC

In 2011 I moved to the Dallas, Texas, USA area from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I was calling myself “semi-retired” and knew exactly what it was I wanted to do…!! ?

I have loved photography all my life but just as a hobby shooting mostly landscapes and nature. That changed when I moved to the States and had the time to take a more serious approach to it. In 2014 I enrolled in two certificate programs (not sure why but I did) : New York Institute of Photography and Professional Photographers of America. In 2016 I completed both receiving my “Certificate of Graduation” from NYIP and my “Certified Professional Photographer” from PPA. I was feelin pretty good ?

Since 2014 I have been attending Dallas PPA Meetings, Texas School, and Imaging USA and had become very interested in competition. With a few more workshops under my belt I decided to go for it. I selected my images…worked on them…and submitted them in the PPA Regionals Competition where two of them merited (I will explain that in a bit). So it was onto the PPA International Photographic Competition. I submitted the same four images (with additional work done to the two that did not merit at the Regionals) and……OMG….. the other two merited.

With all four images meriting at IPC, I was awarded Bronze Medalist. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am…, I think ecstatic is a better word ?

Okay, here is a quick explanation of the merit system in PPA:
The Professional Photographers of America (PPA) have a Merit and Degree program that recognizes photographers’ achievements in the profession. It is run on a point system, with merits standing as points that are earned for various accomplishments and these merits are earned towards degrees.
Merits are earned by competing in PPA’s International Photographic Competition (IPC) thus attaining a Master of Photography degree after so many merits. This is what I am doing ?

These are the four images that merited to give me the Bronze Medalist award. I am already working on my images for 2018 IPC.


  1. Ana Brandt 10 months ago

    AWESOME – so glad to have met you at Texas School – congratulations!

  2. Mary A Wallace 10 months ago

    Thanks Ana! Loved your class at Texas School…..super week ?

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