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…And the Award Goes to…

On Monday night, the ballroom at the Marriott at Research Triangle Park was filled to capacity. As the final night of Carolina Photo Expo 2023, the state photography convention of the Professional Photographers of North Carolina, it was also Awards Night. And, yes, we closed it out with hoots and hollers, as well as awards and accolades.

Our annual Image Competition is an opportunity for photographers to hone their photography and image-making skills, share their work with a larger audience, and – you guessed it – win awards. The 2023 PPNC Image Competition hosts almost 30 different categories from Artist and Best of Show to Wedding Day, Wildlife, and Women (that is *not* a combined category, friends).

Let’s recognize those photographers and image-makers who entered this year’s Print Competition!


Peggy Rogerson took home 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in this category. If you’ve seen Peggy’s work, this is no surprise. She has a thoughtful and ethereal style that communicates everything we love about childhood. Congratulations to Honorable Mentions, Jim Woltjen and Steve Melamed, in this category, as well.


Gary Jones, Adrian Henson, Fuller Royal, and John Perea took home the prize for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and Honorable Mention, respectively. With titled work like: “The Hornsman,” “Articulate,” “Aaron,” and “Our Son the Marine,” each body of work embodied the theme.


Women! In this category, Gary Jones again takes 1st prize. Andrew Bowen took 2nd and 3rd prize. Adrian Henson and Jeff Wenzel received Honorable Mentions. Each photographer brought their own keen sense of impact and technical excellence to the work they created.

High School Seniors

This category was a robust one! Andrew Bowen took 1st place. Fuller Royal took 2nd place. Jeff Wenzel took 3rd place. Both Lisa Thompson and Jeff Wenzel received honorable mentions for their work, as well.


Who doesn’t love to gather with their people? And then to have it captured by a dynamic photographer who preserves that one moment in time in an image? Yes, these are the moments we love to hold onto. For this category, Andrew Bowen took 1st and 3rd place. Peggy Rogerson took 2nd place. Jim Woltjen took the Honorable Mention home.


Judy Reinford swept this category clean, taking 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, as well as not one – but two – honorable mentions. If you want to photograph pets and animals, Judy may very well be your go-to gal.

Fine Art/Illustrative

Karen Doody brought home 1st place in this category. Andrew Bowen brought home 2nd and 3rd place, as well as an honorable mention. Erin Clemmer brought an honorable mention home with her.


Nic Davidson took 1st place home in this category, as well as an Honorable Mention. Eric Loy took 2nd place home. Rich Cox took home 3rd place. Chris Richman took home an honorable mention.


Kristine Cheuvront took 1st and 3rd place home in the Commercial category. Adrian Henson took 2nd place and an honorable mention. Carolyn Temple also took an honorable mention home with her.


Jill Blanchar took home 1st place. Tom McCabe took 2nd place. Leah Custer took 3rd and an honorable mention. Karen Bullard also received an honorable mention. Congrats to teach person in this group for telling a story with each of their images.


This category always opens my eyes to what is living and thriving in the wild. When I see the images these photographers produce, I am in awe. John Perea took home 1st place. Ed Haynes took home 2nd place. Karen Doody took home 3rd place and an honorable mention. Mark Kwiatkowski also took home an honorable mention.

Wedding Day

The East was the beast with this category! Eastern Carolina wedding photographers, that is. Karen Doody took home 1st and 2nd place. Jim Woltjen took home 3rd place and an honorable mention.

Not a Wedding Day

Brenda Brinson took home 1st place … and yes, she slayed the competition with “Run Away Bride.”


While we are all working in one art form or another, it is Peggy Rogerson who brought home 1st place in this category. Chris Richman brought 2nd place, 3rd place, and two honorable mentions.


In the Nouveau category, we have Eric Loy bringing home 1st place, Julia Pollex in 2nd place, Luna Das in 3rd place, and Mardy Murphy and Julia Pollex took home honorable mentions.

Lonely Tree

This award is unique to PPNC, and we have Chuck Hill to thank for that. (We promise to share the origin story of this award in a future blog post.) In the meantime, extend your hearty applause and congratulations to Rich Cox for receiving this year’s Lonely Tree award, with “Lone Tree at Sunset.”


Nic Davidson brings home the win in this category with “Storms Passing.”

Best of Show

Judy Reinford and her work titled, “My Pride and Joy” is this year’s Best of Show.

The Photographer of the Year for North Carolina is…

Judy Reinford! Congratulations, Judy!

President’s Award

Eric Loy, Congratulations on winning this year’s President’s Award.

Judge’s Choice

Each year in Image Competition, the judge’s get to choose their top choice of all the images submitted. The judges choices were the work of: Gary Jones, Adrian Henson, Karen Doody, Chris Richman, and Nic Davidson.

CPP Award

This award goes to a photographer who is a Certified Professional Photographer, and for the work titled, “I Thought We Were Playing Catch,” congratulations go to Peggy Rogerson!

ASP Award

This award goes to a photographer who is a member of the American Society of Photographers, and for the work titled, “Always Waiting,” a big round of applause goes to Karen Doody.

To everyone who submitted their work to this year’s PPNC Image Competition, thank you for the work you do. Your images matter, and we are grateful you shared them with us.

Your success is a clear reflection of the effort, pride and passion with which you live.

[Stay tuned, friends, as we have more to share from Awards Night! You’ll love reading about the members who received their Associates and Fellowship degrees. These are people who contributed to the success of our organization. ]

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