Melissa Woodward

PPOC's 2017 Photographic Artist of the Year

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Canada Day Fireworks – Kirkland Lake Photographer

This year we headed out to Charlton again for the Canada Day fireworks. I loved the display they put on last year, and they did not disappoint this year either!
I played around a little with my camera settings, trying to get some fun effects and designs.


Garden Snail | Kirkland Lake Nature Photography

Not much to say here, I was just playing around in my garden with my new slimy snail friend 🙂

snail in garden snail in garden on rock snail in garden on rocksnail in garden snail in garden snail in garden with lettuce leaf snail in garden with lettuce leaf snail in garden with lettuce leaf snail in garden on rock snail in garden snail in garden on rock snail in garden on rock close up snail in garden snail in garden on rock snail in garden snail in garden on rock


Firstly, I am very thankful that the Artist of the Year award was up first and I didn’t feel obligated to give a speech like other award winners did. I am not a speech person or a get-up-in-front-of-other-people person at all (as anyone who was at the awards banquet could probably tell 😉 )

I am greatly humbled and honoured to be the Professional Photographers of Canada‘s 2017 Photographic Artist of the Year and to have two of my images accepted into this year’s Loan Collection. I would like to offer my sincerest gratitude to the PPOC and this year’s esteemed judging panel for this honour.

la grenouille
Melissa Woodward CPA
08 Animals, Merit

I have wanted to be an artist of some sort for as long as I can remember. I aced art class all through high school, but once I graduated I went on a little academic detour that ended me up with a liberal arts diploma and a degree in psychology. It wasn’t until I was  26 that I decided to try my hand at a career in the art world again, and started working towards my diploma in Graphic Design. In college, I took a class in Photoshop where the world of image manipulation and digital art was opened up to me. Having learned all the rules and elements of good design I was then able to break those rules and get to the heart of my creativity.

Melissa Woodward CPA
09 Experimental/Unclassified, Accepted

Needless to say, I have had, and continue to have, a lot of support from various family and friends. Brad, my husband of 10 years, and my son, Isaac, have always been there to support, encourage, and put up with some of my crazy requests. For example, standing in front of a window and prying their eyes open so I’d have a decent eye to work with for my image HypnotEYEze. Or driving around aimlessly on a rainy/sunny/snowy afternoon; only to then come home and ignore them both for hours while I play with the images on my computer.  I’ve also had wonderful support from members of the PPOC, and I sincerely thank everyone in the photography and art world whose paths I’ve crossed along my creative journey so far.

Dancing Arrowheads
Melissa Woodward CPA
10 Fine Art, Merit

The images I submitted into this years PPOC Image Salon are a culmination of me and what I have learned as an artist and photographer. Some of the images follow all the rules, while other break them beautifully. I’m going to take this great accomplishment and push myself to learn more, discover more about who I am as an artist, and try to win it again.

Fade Away
Melissa Woodward CPA
10 Fine Art, Excellence

I want to again say how grateful I am to receive this award—especially knowing that the PPOC is full of photographers who are equally deserving.

Thank you,



May 1, 2017: Ottawa, Ontario – Kirkland Lake photographer Melissa Woodward, CPA , has had 4 images selected for inclusion in a national exhibition.

Melissa has won the coveted title of

Professional Photographers of Canada’s 2017
Photographic Artist of the Year

at the Professional Photographers of Canada’s 2017 annual competition; a national exhibition celebrating the best of Canadian professional photography.

As well, her images ‘La Grenouille’ and ‘Fade Away’ have been selected for inclusion in the Professional Photographers of Canada’s 2017 Loan Collection.

A panel of master photographers judged the best works submitted by professional photographers from across Canada and only accepted outstanding images into the 2017 National Image Salon of the Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC). The salon was exhibited this week during the International Photo Conference, the annual conference of the PPOC held this year in Ottawa, Ontario.

In addition to demonstrating the makers’ ability to make outstanding images for their clientele, inclusion into the salon earns the maker merits toward several designations offered to PPOC members, including the prestigious Craftsman of Photographic Arts and Master of Photographic Arts. The competition features entries from across Canada in 21 different classes, including press, portrait, architecture and fashion.

“Photographers must show extraordinary talent to win an award among such illustrious company,” said Charles van den Ouden MPA, Chair of the National Exhibition Committee. “We were thrilled to see so many inspiring entries in the competition this year. The salon images clearly demonstrate the exceptional skill and quality that professionals bring to the medium of photography.”

Thank you to Sébastien Lavallée for these wonderful photos from the awards banquet.

Kirkland Lake Photographer Earns Prestigious Designation

When I joined the PPOC in 2012 I didn’t really know what I was getting into. Over the last 5 years, I have learned and grown so much as a photographer and as an artist. One of the perks of pushing myself has been obtaining my Craftsman of Photographic Arts designation. I was able to achieve this by receiving service merits by volunteering within the association at the local, provincial, and national levels; and by earning print merits by successfully becoming accredited in a number of disciplines and by creating photographic images that have been judged and accepted into the National Salon.

On May 1st the PPOC held it’s annual Awards Banquet at which I received my CPA medal and plaque.


As part of its continuing program of Honours & Awards, the Professional Photographers of Canada are pleased to announce that:


is a recipient of the coveted


This prestigious designation is bestowed by the PPOC upon its members whose images accepted into the annual PPOC Image Salon over a number of years are consistently of a high quality and in recognition of the contributions made by them to the Association and to photography in Canada. These photographers have proven their photographic abilities by participating in the Association’s National Image Competition and have confirmed their dedication to the profession by serving the Association.

The Professional Photographers of Canada is a not-for-profit organization representing portrait, wedding, commercial, and military photographers from across the country. The Association promotes photographic excellence through education and exploration of image artistry and establishes standards of professional performance.

The designation was presented to Melissa Woodward by PPOC Chair Tina Weltz MPA SPA, at the Association’s annual Awards Banquet held May 1st, 2017 in Ottawa, Ontario.

Thank you to Sébastien Lavallée for these wonderful photos from the awards banquet.


PPOC Photographic Artist of the Year Nominee

Not only did I receive my first “Excellence” during image judging, but I just found out today that I am also a nominee for Photographic Artist of the Year!

The Canadian Photographer of the Year Awards reflect the various disciplines within the field of photography and include national designations for Commercial Photographer of the Year, Portrait Photographer of the Year, Wedding Photographer of the Year and Photographic Artist of the Year. The winner of each designation is chosen from the top scoring entries based on aggregate rating of four accepted photographs in the appropriate categories. Photographer of the Year winners are selected by a panel of judges that bases its decision on overall impact, technical merit, composition, presentation and overall variety of skills exhibited. Winners receive a crystal trophy, wood plaque, and thanks to the generosity of sponsors, a cash award. Their work is also displayed on the PPOC website and they receive a feature article in the printed edition of Gallerie Magazine. –

This year the Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC) annual convention will be taking place in Ottawa from April 28 to May 3, 2017.  The award winners will be announced at the banquet held on May 1st.

I just booked my hotel and banquet tickets… It’s going to be a looong wait 😉


2017 PPOC National Image Salon

Back in early February, I submitted images into the Professional Photographers of Canada’s  National Image Salon competition. In Toronto over the weekend my four images, along with over 700 other images from some of the greatest photographers across the country, were reviewed by a panel of highly qualified judges. I was able to watch the live stream of most of the judging, which is a huge learning experience. Unofficially, I knew my results after my final image was judged Saturday afternoon. However, nothing is set in stone until you get the official email. I got that in my inbox last night, so now I can share the news and the images!

Now unless you are a fellow PPOC member reading this,  you’re probably wondering what exactly all this means. I’m sure each of us has our own reasons for entering Nationals. For me, it is another way to challenge myself both technically and creatively. Since joining PPOC in 2012 I have made it a point to participate in the organization as much as I can. In the past 5 years, I have held an executive position in our local branch, I am the Pre-Accreditation Review Publisher for Ontario, and I have volunteered on committees for our provincial and national conventions. For a creative boost, I work on submitting for accreditation and, of course, I make sure to enter into the image salon competitions. Every volunteer position, successful accreditation submission and image accepted into the National Image Salon earns PPOC members points to be used towards special designations such as Craftsman or Master of Photographic Arts. After last year’s National Image Salon I had enough points for my Craftsman of Photographic Arts and am currently on track to receive my MPA in a couple of years!

Based on the feedback I received from entering images into the Ontario and Atlantic provinces salons, I felt I had four very solid entries for Nationals. However, you never know what to expect entering into the National Salon. While your images may have done well at Provincials, the expectations and talent of the work seen at the Nationals are on a completely different level.  This year I had my best showing. All four images I entered were accepted into the Salon. Two of those images earned a score of Merit, and one even managed to score an Excellence!!!

“From those submitted images deemed worthy of inclusion in the final Salon, there are tiered levels of acceptance. The first level is simply known as “Accepted” and denotes that the image is of a high enough level to warrant being displayed in a prestigious national display of photography by the members of PPOC. The next level is known as “Merit” and indicates a clear step above the first level of Accepted. The highest level is known as “Excellence, which really says it all. Excellence images are a very small and elite group of images that have risen to the top. These are simply remarkable images.” -from the website


2016 PPOC-AT Image Salon Results

Every year, as a kind of testing ground for our National Image Salon, I enter images into Ontario’s competition as well as at least one other province. And while I was very happy with my Ontario results (2 Accepted and 1 Merit) these Atlantic results had me over the moon with 1 Accepted, 2 Merits, and my very first Excellence!!!

La Grenouille – quite possibly the most unimaginative way to name something since that one time I named my cat Neko (aka Cat in Japanese). Also an image I never thought much of until it was questioned by a freind/fellow photographer why I hadn’t entered it in salon before. Apparently they were right!

Le Grenouille by Melissa Woodward


Pollack’s Arrowheads – my take on Monet’s Waterlillies

Pollack's Arrowheads by Melissa Woodward


Fade Away – Taken 4 or 5 years ago, I’ve always loved this image, so I finally got around to working on it some more and it seems to have paid off!
(Also, my only Pearl Jam lyric reference this year… it’s getting harder and harder to fit them in )

Fade Away by Melissa Woodward


Full Spectrum – pretty much just playing around with warping tools in photoshop.

Full Spectrum by Melissa Woodward


Nature Accreditation with the PPOC

Today I received the fantastic news that I earned my Nature Accreditation. This 4th Accreditation since I joined the PPOC in 2012!

Press Release

The Professional Photographers of Canada is pleased to announce that:

Melissa Woodward CPA ,
has just earned an accreditation in Nature, at our Accreditation judging in London, ON. Accreditation is the first elevation above the general membership level, and is achieved by submitting samples of the applicant’s photography to a PPOC Board of Review for Accreditation. Accreditation demonstrates that the photographer is capable of delivering above average quality photography in a chosen category.

In assessing Accreditation Submissions, the judges will consider the following criteria: Impact, Creativity, Style, Composition, Presentation, Color Balance, Centre of Interest, Lighting, Subject Matter, Image file quality, Technique and Story Telling.

Along with other service and print merits, a minimum of one Accreditation is required to qualify for a Craftsman of Photographic Arts and two accreditations are needed for a Master of Photographic Arts.

For more information, please contact:

Brian Lee, HLM, MPA, SPA, Cr. Photog
Brian Lee Photography
183 Windsor Avenue
London, ON
N6C 2A3

Tanya Thompson
PPOC Executive Director
T: (888) 643-PPOC (7762)
F: (519) 537-5573


I look at the accreditation process as a way to challenge myself while still doing what I love. It can be easy to just “go with the flow” and keep where you’re at skill wise. Submitting for accreditation and image competitions is my way of keeping on top of my skill set and trying to be better than I was the day/week/month/year before.

Here are the 10 images that I submitted to the Nature category. A couple of these I started saving and working on last summer, the rest were all taken within the last month.

PPOC Nature Accreditation 001

PPOC Nature Accreditation 002

PPOC Nature Accreditation 003

PPOC Nature Accreditation 004

PPOC Nature Accreditation 005

PPOC Nature Accreditation 006

PPOC Nature Accreditation 007

PPOC Nature Accreditation 008

PPOC Nature Accreditation 009

PPOC Nature Accreditation 010


Kap Kig Iwan Provincial Park

My family and I love going to Kap Kig Iwan Provincial Park up here in Northern Ontario. And, of course, I usually always bring my camera gear with me too!

This weekends adventure had me sitting in the mud with my camera mere milometers above the water to photograph a frog…

Kap Kig Iwan Provincial Park - Frog Kap Kig Iwan Provincial Park - Frog Kap Kig Iwan Provincial Park - Frog Kap Kig Iwan Provincial Park - Frog Kap Kig Iwan Provincial Park - Frog

Chasing Dragonflies…
Kap Kig Iwan Provincial Park - Dragonfly Kap Kig Iwan Provincial Park - Dragonfly

And heading up to the look out to take an 18 image panoramic of the park…
Kap Kig Iwan Provincial Park - view from look out


Canada Day Fireworks










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