JUDGING PANEL
JUDGING PANEL
FOROUGH YAVARI

FOROUGH YAVARI

Iran / Australia 

CANSON® Infinity Ambassador | EIZO APAC  Ambassador 


FOROUGH YAVARI is an award-winning fine art portrait and fashion photographer based in Melbourne, Australia. Inspired by her life experiences as a woman, Forough’s work focuses on portraying the narrative behind the lives of women from around the world.

Born in Iran during the Iranian Revolution, Forough was passionate about art from a young age, drawing and painting imaginary subjects as a child. She went on to formally pursue painting in university, where she discovered her passion for photography while modelling for a photography student.

Forough began creating digital art, combining her knowledge and technical expertise in painting and photography. In 2011, she moved to Australia, where she built her photography business and became established as an international photographer. Increasingly, she found her work to be influenced by her personal experience as a woman from a middle eastern country. Her interest in women’s issues led to a series of images, “Revision of Portraits”, “Eternal Icons”, and “Salvation” which were exhibited in Iran and Australia.

In 2018, Forough was awarded the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) Master of Photography. She was awarded the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) Master of Photography in 2019, and the Double Master of Photography from WPPI in 2020. She received her Master of Photography with Distinction from the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography (NZIPP) in 2021.

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Forough will be judging within the following categories: Digital Art and Portrait Categories


KRISTI SUTTON ELIAS

KRISTI SUTTON ELIAS

Long Beach, California USA


KRISTI ELIAS, Master portrait artist and professional photographer Kristi Elias has been creating timeless works of art for the past 26 years. 

Kristi's passion for fine art portrait photography has brought her to the forefront of the photography world, she has been featured on NBC News, in museums, art galleries, billboards, storefront window displays, Magazine covers and ads as well as in numerous industry magazines like Professional Photographer and Rangefinder Magazine.

Kristi is an International Award-winning photographer, and California Photographer of the year. She has earned the degree of Master of Photography, Master Artist, Craftsman, and the Prestigious ASP Fellowship. She is also a Triple Master of WPPI.

Kristi presents workshops and is an educator in her field. Kristi has judged for several competitions and now has accepted a judging seat with the MPI IIC. Kristi earned 2nd Place for the IIC Mentorship


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Kristi will be judging within the following categories: Digital Art and Portrait Categories


HECTOR D. ASTORGA

HECTOR D. ASTORGA

Mission, Texas USA


HECTOR D. ASTORGA is a full-time wildlife photographer based in South Texas. 

His love of nature and the outdoors began as a child in his native country, Honduras. He is the ranch manager at the Santa Clara Ranch, a photography ranch that hosts wildlife photographers from all over the globe.. He leads and conducts photography tours & workshops at multiple locations in North, Central, and South America, Scandinavia, and Africa.

He is a six-time Grand Prize winner of the Wildlife in Focus and Valley Land Fund Photography competitions. From 2008 thru 2017 he won 1st Grand Prize four times, 2nd Grand Prize once and also has a 3rd Grand Prize finish.  He won top honors in the 2009 National Wildlife Federation Photography Contest and in the 2012 Rocky Mountain Outdoor Writers and Photographers Photography competition. In 2016, one of his images was selected as a “Best of Show” by the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) in their Annual Showcase competition.  His images have been in the Top 3 awards in the NANPA Showcase for the last four years in a row.  In 2019 his image of a Three-toed Sloth w/ baby won the prestigious Nature’s Best Windland Smith Rice International Awards Wildlife Category.  With over 25,000 entries from photographers in 63 different countries the Nature’s Best competition is one of the premier nature photography competitions in the world. 

His work is featured in Nature’s Best Magazine, Audubon Magazine, National Wildlife Federation Magazine, Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine, National Geographic Guide Books, Ranger Rick Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Quail Unlimited, and other national and regional publications.


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Hector will be judging within the Nature Category


GURVIR JOHAL

GURVIR JOHAL

Birmingham, United Kingdom


GURVIR JOHAL is an international wedding photographer based in Birmingham, UK.

He has won numerous awards along with earning his titles of Double Master photographer with WPPI and  Fellowship Photographer with SWPP & BIPP.

He is also an ambassador for Fundy Designer, Canson Infinity, GraphiStudio,  Light & Motion and a Nikon “Z Creator”.

Gurvir has travelled the  world photographing Indian Weddings, teaching many sold out workshops along the  way, being an educator at numerous conferences as well as judging prestigious  photography  competitions internationally.

He refers to his style of  photography as fairy-tale timeless classics with an injection of fashion. His

passion and love for photography allows him to use his heart and imagination to  produce timeless images for generations.

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Gurvir will be judging within the Wedding Category


ANGELA ADAMS

ANGELA ADAMS

Norwich, UK


ANGELA ADAMS is a Business, Brand and Editorial Photographer, Freelance Features Writer, Educator and Speaker.  Based in Norfolk, England, Angela transitioned from working in the banking sector in London, to working in education; almost twenty years ago she took a leap of faith, listened to the call of her creative side and launched her photography and copywriting business in Essex.

These days her commercial clients range from small business owners to large corporations, Authors to television personalities, and production companies to national publications.   Angela works to serve businesses with a focus on brand portfolios for entrepreneurs, editorial for magazines and headshot photography for the corporate sector; she has also worked as a behind-the-scenes photographer for film and television.

A background in Teaching Photography, plus English and American Literature, in which she holds a Bachelor’s Degree; Angela is happiest when photographing people and writing copy to portray her client’s story through both words and pictures.  She holds a Diploma in Professional Interior Design, assists in designing client sets and experiences. Angela currently writes a column in The Societies Professional Imagemaker Magazine and regularly contributes to local and national publications writing non-fiction features and providing associated photographs.

Grand Master Photographer of The Societies is an accolade of which Angela is particularly proud as it is awarded for giving back to the industry.  Angela also Mentors Photographers and is a qualified Judge at The Societies where she has co-delivered The Societies Judging School.   Chair of Qualifications at The Societies Convention 2022, Angela holds two Fellowships and a number of industry awards.

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Angela will be judging within the Commercial Category


TONY SWEET

TONY SWEET

MPI Master in Fine Art Photography (MPF) 

Eldersburg, Maryland, USA


TONY SWEET After successful careers as a jazz musician/ educator, and professional magician, Tony settled on photography as his chosen means for personal expression. Beginning as a film photographer, Tony has become facile in image editing software and plugins and is an in-demand speaker throughout the United States and Canada on creativity in the digital age.

Tony and Susan Milestone conduct Visual Artistry photography location workshops in the United States, Canada, and Iceland. Tony maintains an active speaking schedule to photography organizations and industry trade shows across the continental United States and Canada. He also conducts an annual Visual Artistry Creativity Seminar series.

Tony’s photography is published worldwide in every medium and is represented by Getty Images. His iPhone photography is represented by Aurora Photos. Tony’s images are also used by Nikon, MacPhun, Singh Ray, Alien Skin, Topaz, Lensbaby and others for national ad campaigns.

An interview with Tony on macro photography was published in The New York Times.

Tony has authored five books on the art of photography: Fine Art Nature Photography (’02), Fine Art Flower Photography (’05) Fine Art Nature Photography: Water, Ice, Fog (’07), Fine Art Digital Photography (’09) and HDR Photography (2011). He and Master Photo Workshops have co-produced four photography DVDs: Visual Artistry, HDR Made Easy, Visual Literacy and Flower Photography Artistry, as well as an iPhone instructional video series.

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Tony will be judging within the Fine Art and Nature Categories


MARK BRYANT

MARK BRYANT

MPI Master in Commercial Photography (MPC) 

Missoula, Montana USA


MARK BRYANT and his spouse Sandra Bryant, operate a studio in Missoula, Montana. Their work has graced the pages of such national magazines as “Town and Country”, ”Fly Fisherman”, “Good Housekeeping”, “Wall Street Journal”, “Log Home Living”, and more. 

A recipient of “Kodak Gallery awards”, “Fuji Masterpiece awards Mark has numerous International Loan Collection prints and in 2012, the third photographer ever to achieve 8 out of 8 in the PPA IPC Loan Collection, the prestigious Double Diamond. Multiple Photographer of the Year awards in the Rocky Mountain region and state of Montana. Mark Graduated from Ohio Institute of Photography in Dayton, Ohio.  A unique style and passion has given them opportunity to travel the U.S.  photographing commercial and architectural. Capturing the inner and outer beauty of people and awakening the heart and mind of the viewer, has renewed their passion and commitment to the art of portrait photography, their first love. 

Mark Bryant judges for the IIC and for other professional bodies on a National and International level. 

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Mark will be judging within the Commercial, Digital Art and Fine Art Categories


KEVIN DOOLEY

KEVIN DOOLEY

Albuquerque, New Mexico USA


KEVIN DOOLEY Kevin is also recognized worldwide for his wildlife photography and was selected to represent the USA Team in 2017 and in 2019 in the Photographic World Cup.

His passion for capturing intense moments in animal behavior has earned him many awards including the Top 8 International Photographers of Africa Geographic, Wildlife “On The Move” and finalist for Nature’s Best and Nature’s Best Africa. He has recently accepted invitations to teach workshops in the Professional Photographers of America, Hunts Photo and Video, and B&H Photo and Video and was inducted into the PPA Masters of Photography, Jan. 2020. Kevin is the author of the book Wild Faces in Wild places, has published many wildlife calendars and Art Prints. Many of Kevin’s Images have been published in some of the most coveted wildlife publications, National Geographic’s Your Shot, and News publications worldwide. Kevin was selected for the 2020’s top weekly photojournalistic award.

Kevin is also a humanitarian with his own YouTube channel that promotes positive thinking and helping others. He has a YouTube channel on teaching photography.

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Kevin will be judging within the Fine Art and Nature Categories


KELLY AND KALINA SCHNEIDER

KELLY AND KALINA SCHNEIDER

Kelly Schneider - 2020 MPI IIC Mentorship Award Recipient

Cape Coral, Florida USA

Kalina Schneider - Poland / United States

KELLY SCHNIDER was born and raised in Coronado, California, and eventually moved to Oregon, where he lived until he joined the US Navy in 1980. During his 29-year Navy career, Kelly traveled to 137 countries.  While doing so, he developed a passion for “capturing” the world around him through photography.  

In 2010, Kelly expanded into professional photography, photographing weddings and growing and refining his skills in creating “salient” portraits. 

While starting his family photography business, Kelly was also busy working for Department of Defense as manpower and training lead for various programs, including the Nuclear Carrier CVN78 FORD Class.  Over time, he became passionate about teaching others and earned a Master’s Training Specialist as well as a master’s degree in Human System Integration from the Navy Post Graduate School in Monterey, California.  

He strongly believes in constant learning and attends two to three workshops/events each year.  he is currently writing his first book on photography, “The Salient Portrait—The Science Behind It and How to Achieve It.” The information he shares in the book is the core of all the workshops and training events he offers.


KALINA SCHNIDER was born and raised in Poland.  Even at a young age, she was interested in visual arts, drawing, and painting, and she eventually earned a master’s degree in Art History and Cultural Studies from Silesian University.  She had several successful exhibitions in Katowice, her hometown.

After finishing college, Kalina took a sabbatical and worked as a travel agent in Turkey.  In 2000, she moved to London to study English.  While there, she had a short love affair with fashion and started her own fashion line.

In 2006, Kalina moved to the Kingdom of Bahrain to work for their flagship airline.  While in the Middle East, she met and married her husband, Kelly Schneider.  Kalina’s passion for art combined with Kelly’s love of world travel ignited their mutual interest in photography.

After moving to the United States Kalina helped Kelly run a successful landscape photography studio, but the desire to sell prints at local studios soon faded as the world of portraiture brought a new life and vision to their work. Today, Kelly and Kalina specialize in fine art portraiture photography in South West Florida and they teach photography at workshops and on photo safaris in the United States and Europe.   

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Kalina will be judging within the Digital Art Categories

Kelly will be judging within the Digital Art Categories

MARTIN GRAHAME-DUNN

MARTIN GRAHAME-DUNN

Kelly Schneider - 2020 MPI IIC Mentorship Award Recipient

Cape Coral, Florida USA

Kalina Schneider - Poland / United States

MARTIN GRAHAME-DUNN has over 35 years in the Photographic Industry, particularly in the fields of Advertising, Commercial and Fashion Photography and more latterly as a Portrait & Wedding Photographer. Martin educates, inspires and motivates photographers instilling the highest standards of professional practice across a wealth of disciplines.

As well as providing consultancy services to Photographic Business’s all over the world, Martin carries out the roles of Judge and Chairman for international photography competitions and Professional Bodies worldwide. He now concentrates on delivering education via intensive workshops and has a wide range of clients who join him on their journeys to realize their potential as creative artist photographers and business people.


Martin will be judging within the Commercial, Nature and Portrait Categories


ERUM RIZVI

ERUM RIZVI

Britain / United States 

Stella Prolights Ambassador


ERUM RIZVI is a multiple award-winning, British born wedding photographer Erum Rizvi is well known for her clean, beautiful imagery with a distinctively modern touch. Providing an unparalleled bespoke experience for the clients she works with, Erum is a leader in the photography industry who has built her career to become one of Rangefinder’s 30 Rising Stars of 2014, and one of the most sought out photographers in the Washington DC area.

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Erum will be judging within the Wedding Category


KATHLEEN CLEMONS

KATHLEEN CLEMONS

New England - United States

KATHLEEN CLEMONS is a New England based professional photographer, living on the beautiful coast of Maine. She is known for her creative use of natural light and unique, stunning flower portraits. Kathleen teaches many location workshops each year, and she is also an instructor for the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops and has filmed classes for Creative Live, Craftsy and Lensbaby University. She is the author of “All About Textures”.  She has been named a "Lensbaby Trailblazer" by the wonderful people at Lensbaby.com and they have also described her as the "Georgia O'Keeffe of Flower Photography". 

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Kathleen will be judging florals within the Fine Art and Nature Category


WOODY WALTERS

WOODY WALTERS

Rock Springs, Wyoming - USA

WOODY WALTERS is a veteran in photography and a digital artist who enjoys trying new technics.  His black and white images have been collected by museums and galleries all over the world including the “Hoyt Institute of Art, Yugo International Museum, Tampa Museum of Art and the Orlando Museum of Art. His print “Edna” is even in Ansel Adam’s private collection. Woody has given workshops and lectures in almost every state in the USA. Woody is a pioneer in compositing when digital photography first came into the photographic industry. Digital photography has allowed photographers to create whatever they can imagine. 

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Woody will be judging within the Digital and Fine Art  Categories