Local Photographer Wins First Place at Grand Imaging Awards
Local photographer, Erica Lane Harvey owner of Erica Lane Photography, of Rapid City, South Dakota was awarded First Place in the Landscape/Nature Category during the Professional Photographers of America’s (PPA) Grand Imaging Awards in Nashville on January 20th, 2020. The awards take place during Imaging USA, the longest running photo conference in the world where well over 10,000 people attend!
Before Harvey took the stage in Nashville she had entered into PPA’s International Print Competition (IPC) back in the summer of 2019. To her amazement her bear photo scored a perfect 100. “Erica is such a fabulously talented photographer. Her work is sensational! There are only a few images, out of many I have judged over the years, that stick with me and hers are among those that will resonate with me for a lifetime,” states Kristy Steeves a photographer from Ohio and who is also a PPA Approved Juror for IPC.
Harvey created her image of three bears on the beach, titled “Nothing Like Mom’s Homemade Clam Chowder,” after a trip to Lake Clark National Park in 2018. It was her last day at the lodge before she was to fly back to Anchorage and as luck would have it the sow with the youngest cubs had chosen to explore the beach that morning. It was of course raining and foggy, which only added to the feeling of the image and to the sadness Harvey felt about having to leave such a magical place. “Going to see the bears in Alaska has been the most epic thing I have done to date. Words and photographs can barely express what it is like to experience such things in person” states Harvey.
Harvey has been competing in IPC for the last 4 years and felt as if she won the lottery this year with her bear image, for it was also chosen to represent Team USA in the World Photographic Cup out of the 6,000+ entries submitted this year into IPC. “When I got the email from Rich Newell stating I had been selected to be on the Team I was beyond excited. I called three people right away, and then I realized I was supposed to keep it a secret. So I only told two more people “ states Harvey, “I mean, I had to tell my parents.” Unfortunately, Harvey’s image did not make it as a Top Ten Finalist, but 4 of her teammates’ images will go on to the finals in Rome on March 23rd, 2020. To learn more and see all of the team’s photos go to WorldPhotographicCup.org.
Harvey’s credit’s her success this year to her friend, Jenni Knezovich from Rock Springs. Knezovich, who is the Print Competition Chair for the Wyoming PPA Chapter, is always telling members “No one becomes a worse photography by entering competition.” This year Harvey took that to heart and came up with stories and concepts for her submissions last year and it paid off as she was also selected as one of 20 Diamond Photographers of the Years. Meaning all four of her submissions were selected into the prestigious loan collection, which is considered the best of the best of that year’s entries.
Harvey is the first ever PPA member from South Dakota Photographer to achieve any of the above honors. She hopes that more of her state’s PPA members will consider entering IPC this year. “It is great to challenge oneself and push ourselves to be better. We must remember to take time to be creative and create images for ourselves” states Harvey. IPC for this year is four moths away and Harvey already has some of her submissions for this year ready and can’t wait to see what they judges think of her creations. "Erica is a stickler for details in her life and in her photography," Sundby said, "She is rarely satisfied with anything less than perfection, and the entire PPA community has realized this and welcomed her into the upper echelon of its most elite photographers."