…That night we were treated to an amazing awards ceremony and party. The awards ceremony was for the best of the best images from the international exhibition, of which 25,000 photographers entered from all over the world. From those final images chosen for exhibition, some images where chosen for Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals.
I WON THE GOLD! It was very fun to actually be there to receive the award! Even though I was there in China to speak at the convention, I didn’t expect to win any awards with so many photographers entering. It was so exciting to have them call me up as the Gold Medalist too!
When I went up to get the award, I handed my camera to Doug Box and asked him to take a photo of me winning. After the shot, I took my camera back and took this quick pano of the audience photographing me! Look at all the people grouped up on the sides!
Here’s a close-up of one of the sides.
But before they started giving awards, they event started with beautiful Chinese models coming out wearing some of the top images from the exhibition. They were strutting to music with a heavy beat. The lighting, fog, and bubbles made it look amazing.
Here’s a close-up of one of the girls. They were stunning women!
The model on the right of this image is wearing one of my images, the famous portrait I did of Joe McQueen.
Afterward some of the models asked for a photograph with me. It probably didn’t hurt that I’d just won the Gold Medal in front of them, or that they were wearing some of my images, or that the place was decorated with my images…but I have to tell you that I loved the attention and felt like a rock star! They were beautiful and stunning women who were amazingly tall. Notice how tall they are compared to me. I’m 6 foot 4 — especially tall for China.
Then before dinner that night the models changed outfits and came back out to do another dance. I loved this one too!
The dinner room was decorated with our photographs. That’s actually my image hanging behind us.
Here’s another shot showing two more of my images on the wall along with images from the other speakers.
This dinner felt like another awards ceremony because we were all presented with gifts from the Chinese. Here is Dennis Craft and I getting some traditional cut-out art pieces.
That night was fantastic! It made me feel very grateful and blessed to do what I do — to be an artist and to be able to travel and meet so many people from all over the world. It was a joy to be able to speak and share my artistic ideas with the Chinese photographers. They were incredibly hospitable and kind. I hope to get back over there again soon!