I AM Photographer Festival 2016 inspired the participants (15.04.2016)


I AM Photographer Festival 2016 yet again tied together a photography contest and educational workshops and platform classes. The contest included two categories – wedding photo and portrait photo – and 11 subcategories. This year, one of Italy’s best wedding photographer, Salvatore Dimino, won the main prize in the wedding photo category with his photo “Under the Veil“. Dimino has taken part in I AM Photographer contest in the previous years as well and won in sub-categories. Now, he won the main prize. There was a very harsh finish in the portrait photo category when three photos were competing for the main prize: Viktorija Stapone’s winner photo in the group category, Kaupo Kikkas’ winner photo in the children category and Laima Kavaliauskaitė’s winner photo in the glamour category. In the end, it was a very close call between Stapone’s photo “Leaves and flower“ and Kaupo Kikkas’ photo „Sanctum“ and Stapone won the main prize with a slim lead over Kikkas. You can see the results and winning photos on the festival web page.

There were many new inspiring people among the performers of the festival’s workshops and platform classes but there were also performers who were familiar to the participants. Workshops were held during three days but it was the platform classes marathon held by nine different performers that attracted the most participants.  Exclusive workshops gave the opportunity to communicate with the best tutors in a small group of people and get the most answers for any questions and learn through practical photographing.

In Christian Lalonde’s workshop, the participants were given an overview of how a commercial photo is born. The participants experienced the whole story of how one photo comes to be. It started with formulating the idea, photographing a model in an improvised studio and processing different photo files and putting it all together as a whole.

Merili was one of the participants in his workshop and she says: “The most interesting part started in the computer. Although Photoshop is already a good friend of mine, it was a real fun looking at Lalonde. I experienced how to put together an ordinary photo of castle ruins and a photo of a model taken in a studio – how to cut, paste, tone, mask.“

Miss Aniela’s workshop was a real joy for a lot of people. The glamorous field of fashion photography that demands a lot of creational potential and experience got a totally new vision. The rooms of Tallinn Teachers House worked very well with the model dressed into a golden dress. It is very inspiring to see the process of an idea becoming a reality through the photographer’s creation.

Ave’s thoughts about the workshop: “Totally unique experience for me! I was able to see how big art is created in a simple everyday environment. This little woman bodied a photographer, artist and a breast-feeding mother at the same time and it was all so natural and self-evident. I was under the spell of this Big Event for days after it.“

While the Estonian audience is usually quite calm, in Roberto Valenzuela’s workshop and platform class, the audience became really active and emotional. Although Roberto was performing in Estonia for the second time, his topics and approaches had a totally new angle to them. Last time, Roberto focused on posing and this time, he focused on using light. Roberto also presented his new book and it was sold out immediately at the festival.

Valdis’s opinion of Roberto: “I like how he brings very simple examples to explain what and how works. The tempo was fast enough and good jokes always create a stress free environment in the workshop. I have not learned that much in such short period of time for a long time!“

Rob Greer made the photographers think about the topics that relate to marketing in the Internet era – how to be visible in the virtual media. He gave precise tips on how to use the search engines to make yourself more visible in the Internet.
Mait:”This course should be compulsory to every photographer. You cannot achieve much without this knowledge. I am so sorry that there so few of those who took part because it would have been the best investment. This topic is such a wide one that there could have been two more workshops on that topic.” 

Tim Wallace is known to a lot of people as a car photographer. His name and photos are known in the world and many expensive car brands use his photos to advertise their top models. In his workshop, participants were able to photograph LcLaren car under the guidance of Tim Wallace in a Silberauto dealership. Practicing is what suits all the photographers and this workshop focused precisely on photographing.
Peeter:”The secret of a good photo: dedication and ability to think outside the box…”

The possibility to follow the work of the jury is educational in every way. To see the best works of this contest on a screen and hear the comments of the jury members is definitely a suitable way to get new knowledge. Even when your personal opinion does not match the opinion of the jury members, it makes it possible to decode the most important thing in photography – what does the photo say to different people, is the photographer’s idea understandable and what should I consider when creating my own images.

Mari-Liis about the jury work: “I liked it the most when the jury members started to argue about how to assess a photo. While they were explaining their opinions, it helped to understand, what kind of details are noticed in a photo. Some of the members focused on technical side, others on the emotional side. That was really interesting.“

I AM PHOTOGRAPHER FESTIVAL is a possibility to charge yourself with ideas and meet other colleagues. See you at the next festival that is going to be held in April 2017.



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