Professional Photographers of America Announces Grand Imaging Award Winner and World Photographic Cup Finalists

Published: January 22, 2021

Shannon Squires-Toews and Hendro Soetrisno honored during virtual photography conference 

Professional Photographers of America (PPA) held the Grand Imaging Awards ceremony earlier this week at Imaging USA 2021, the largest annual conference and trade show for professional photographers. The overall Grand Imaging Award went to Shannon Squires-Toews, M.Photog, for her image “Perfectly Perched” in the Animal Portrait category. Her photograph was selected from over 5,000 entries by a jury of 36 professional photographers. 

The Grand Imaging Awards encourage photographers to improve their craft and creative process by entering and receiving feedback through competition. This year, Squire-Toew’s image was deemed by jurors to be the very best of the images to be included in PPA’s prestigious Loan Collection. This selection of photographs is published yearly in a hardcover book by Marathon Press. 

Squires-Toews was selected as the winner from a pool of 12 category winners. The category winners, who each received a crystal award, were:

•    Melissa Clapper in the Creative Open category

•    Ted Linczak, M.Photog.Cr., in the Photographic Open category

•    Mario Munoz, M.Photog.Cr., in the Wedding Album category

•    Dana Rose in the Artist category

•    Chris Paulis in the Restoration category

•    Lisa Asp, M.Photog.M.Artist.Cr., CPP, in the Landscape/Nature category 

•    Erich Caparas, M.Photog.M.Artist, in the Illustrative/Commercial category

•    Erich Caparas, M.Photog.M.Artist, in the General Portrait Category

•    Marianne Cherry, CPP, in the Animal Portrait category

•    Ben Shirk, M.Photog.M.Artist.Cr., in the High School Senior category

•    Shannon Squires-Toews, M.Photog., in the Children’s Portrait category

•    Aly Kuler, CPP, in the Wedding category

PPA also awarded medalists from the International Photographic Competition. At this year’s ceremony, PPA awarded 170 bronze, 128 silver, 60 gold, 37 platinum, and 40 diamond medals.

The night concluded with a presentation on the images selected for Team USA at the World Photographic Cup, the “Olympics of photography.” The competition includes 36 countries that will compete in Rome, Italy, in April 2021. Hendro Soetrisno was given the honor of “Best of Nation” for the United States.

PPA provides multiple opportunities throughout the year for photographers to receive feedback and recognition for their work. District Photographic Competitions are held May 9-14, 2021. It is followed by the International Photographic Competition on September 12-17, 2021. All PPA photographic competitions are open to the public. For more information, visit

The Grand Imaging Awards was part of Imaging USA - Right at Home, a virtual conference for photographers. The full awards ceremony, along with all of Imaging USA’s classes and events, are available on-demand through January 31. Click here to get your All-Access Pass today.