Della Watters, certified professional photographer, has been named a Top 10 finalist in the prestigious Grand Imaging Awards, sponsored by Professional Photographers of America.

Each year, the top images in each of 12 categories are selected as finalists from more than 5,000 international entries.

Winners will be announced at PPA’s annual convention, Imaging USA, to be held in Nashville, Tennessee on Monday, Jan. 20, at the Gaylord Opryland Convention Center. The convention is typically attended by more than 10,000 photographers.

Watters submitted the portrait of a bride and groom titled “Today and Forever” in the 2019 International Print Competition. Not only was it accepted into PPA’s Loan Collection of elite images, but it also advanced for selection as a GIA finalist entry.

Watters was also awarded a bronze medal for the artist category for International Photographic Competition, where images are judged on 12 aspects of technical and creative perspectives.

“The Grand Imaging Awards are the equivalent of the Grammy’s for the photography world,” Watters said. “Many photographers never get a nomination in a lifetime of competing, so it is a huge honor for me,” she stated.

“This was the first year of competition for the new wedding category,” Watters explained.

“In past years, models could be dressed in wedding attire and be staged in exotic locations with creative lighting conditions at the perfect time of day,” she continued. “For this new category, images must be captured during real, day-of weddings with persons or scenes from the actual wedding day.”

The challenges photographers face during real weddings are not limited to adapting to the changing lighting conditions, but also time constraints from a full schedule and arranging participants within the limits of the venue, Watters said.

“An experienced, skilled wedding photographer must be able to think quickly on their feet and anticipate where to position themselves to capture the expressions on a bride or groom’s face,” Watters explained.

“A photographer not only needs to know how to provide additional lighting on the subjects, but how to pose them correctly to flatter their best assets,” she continued.

Watters said she feels it is the most difficult type of photography as multiple variables impact the final outcome of creating an unique image.

In addition to being nominated a GIA finalist, Watters was named the 2019 Best Wedding Image Maker in Pennsylvania’s PPA affiliate. She received the Fuji Masterpiece award for the Best Wedding Print and was accepted into Club 320 for PA state merits with six blue ribbon entries.

Watters serves as secretary on the executive board of Governors for PPA of Pennsylvania, which provides education, hands-on training and networking opportunities with other professional and aspiring photographers.

She is a certified professional photographer through the Professional Photographers of America (PPA), the largest and longest-standing nonprofit photography trade association with a 150-year history.

PPA currently helps more than 30,000 professionals elevate their craft and grow their business with resources, protection, and education, all under PPA’s core guiding principle of bridging the gap between photographers and consumers.

Watters has photographed weddings, events and families in Central Pennsylvania and at Omni Bedford Springs Resort since 2009.

Her studio, WattersWorks & Company, is located along the Lower Snake Spring Valley Road between Bedford and Everett.

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