Imaging USA 2022 Wrap-Up

Published: January 24, 2022

Last week, Imaging USA was held in National Harbor, Maryland, along the scenic Potomac River. Photography lovers from across the county (and the globe) gathered at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center for three days of photography education, celebrations, and networking. Over 6,500 photographers attended the event.

It all kicked off with pre-conference classes in the days leading up to the main show. Then, on Sunday, Mike Michalowicz energized the crowd with his opening keynote, which was followed by the Expo ribbon-cutting by PPA’s Board of Directors. Attendees explored 100 vendors across the Prince George’s Expo Hall’s 50,000 square feet and had the chance to see exhibitors' photography equipment and services firsthand in live demonstrations.

The first night of the show included an Imaging USA first: Networking Avenue. This informal, fun event featured topic-specific areas for attendees to connect with like-minded photographers plus three dedicated shooting bays with professionally styled models. Laughs, lively conversation, and the flashes of cameras filled the space as old friendships were rekindled and new ones were created. Later, the Opening Party gave everyone a chance to unwind before heading to bed.

On Monday, attendees continued their learning with classes ranging in topic from posing and lighting to marketing and selling (and everything in between). The Expo floor was as lively as ever with its Wedding Express Talks and Merit Café sessions, and photographers flocked to the PPA booth for help with their membership questions. Plus, a special exhibit of work by Pete Souza was on display so attendees could see firsthand why this former White House photographer received this year's Lifetime Achievement Award. 

As day turned to night, attendees gathered to celebrate the 2022 Degree and Award recipients. Then, the prestigious Grand Imaging Award ceremony was held. Finalists in each category were recognized before this year’s overall winner was announced. Kimberly Smith, M.Photog.M.Artist.Cr., CPP, took home the Grand Imaging Award and the $1000 cash prize for her image "Grace" in the Child Portrait category. The ceremony concluded with the announcement of the World Photographic Cup's "Best of Nation" images. If you missed the ceremonies, you can stream recordings of the Award & Degree Ceremony and the Grand Imaging Awards.

Tuesday of the show featured more inspiring education, more chances to explore the Expo, and an exhilarating closing keynote presentation by Kaplan Mobray. The Closing Party took place in the Gaylord’s Atrium and gave attendees a proper sendoff with music, food, and more than a few selfies.

To see more highlights from this year’s show, follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

Thank you to all our attendees, sponsors, exhibitors, speakers, and staff who made Imaging USA 2022 a success! We couldn’t have done it without you.

See you next year in Nashville!