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Irony and a National Best in Class Figure Study Win

Sole Mates | Best in Class | Canadian Imaging National Salon

From even the greatest of horrors, irony is seldom absent.” ~ H. P. Lovecraft

First, the important stuff: at this year’s PPOC National Salon, I won my third Best in Class Figure Study for my image Sole Mates.

…cue fanfare and royal trumpets…

Second, the real story…

Thirteen months before this year’s national salon, I got it in my head to try something totally new for me. I wanted to show a relationship or connection between two people entirely through an image of the bottom of their feet. Weird, I know. I don’t even like feet all that much but they ARE a part of the body, so what the hell, eh? I contacted Joanne and Dan, fun-loving clients of mine who I had the previous pleasure to work with and featured in “A Survivor With A Heart Of Gold”. The concept was, admittedly, a little strange but they agreed, and we took the shot (pardon the obvious pun).

As the Figure Study class is defined as “skillful and creative artistic representations of the unclothed human figure; in whole or in part. Examples include art nudes, anatomical studies, life studies, editorial statements. Images may depict nudes in an emotional context or as a graphic design; may include the environment and body paint. Subjects must be at least 18 years of age“, I knew the image met the criteria, even though it would likely challenge the judges’ mindsets. Very few photographic judges that I’ve met have genuine life studies experience outside of their profession but I had faith that they could think outside of their own subjective boxes.

Unfortunately, ‘life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans’ and the image got shelved for the rest of 2017.

Sole Mates | Best in Class | Canadian Imaging National Salon

At the start of 2018, and facing a looming salon submission deadline, I was looking for the right images to submit. “Sole Mates” crept back into my mind, so I finished and entered it. A few weeks later in February, it was judged a Merit and all was good (the judges secretly determined the class winners at that time but it would be another two-plus months before any of the entrants learned of their final decisions…).

… and that’s when life showed me the full depth of its sense of humour: at the end of March, I had a nasty fall and shattered both my calcanei (heel bones).

… and then this image wins national Best in Class?!

Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.

Even as I sit here in my fancy, black, fibre glass casts, keeping my abused tootsies off the floor, I’m shaking my head at the irony of it all. Life has some funny twists and turns, ‘funny’ being a relative term, of course. I’m just thankful that I didn’t enter an image of someone’s skull. I might not have been around to write about my ‘win’. Small mercies, eh?

Anyhoo, the official details are below…





May 7, 2018: Richmond, British Columbia – London photographer Jay Terry MPA , has had 4 images selected for inclusion in a national exhibition.

Jay’s image ‘Sole Mates’ in the Figure Study class (sponsored by Technicare), won the prestigious Best in Class award at the Professional Photographers of Canada’s 2018 annual competition; a national exhibition celebrating the best of Canadian professional photography. It was also selected, along with his image ‘Tormented’, for inclusion in the Professional Photographers of Canada’s 2018 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 2018 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 Richmond, British Columbia.

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.”

Note for Editors:

For more information please call
Tanya Thompson, PPOC Executive Director
(519) 537-2555 or 
email her at:

To arrange an interview with the photographer, please contact:
Jay Terry

4 thoughts on “Irony and a National Best in Class Figure Study Win”

  1. Congratulations, Jay, for winning the national Best in Class!

    It must be even more gratifying having artistic creativity to challenge traditional assumptions about Figure Studies. It is always good to break new ground.

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