The episode features an interview with Kat McClure. At the time of the last episode, I was getting ready for the Iowa Print Competition. While at convention I wanted to do two interviews with someone that had never competed: one before and one after the judging. These are those interviews.

I hope all your images are doing well in print competition. This episode is one I’ve been thinking about doing for a long time, and I’m excited it is finally happening. I know a lot of people think about doing print competition, but feel held back for a variety of reasons. I understand the nervousness of competing, especially if you’re just starting off. Looking at the level of images can inspire awe, but if you haven’t competed before comparing your images to others’ can be intimidating.

Kat  talks about the process she used to get feedback on her images. Throughout the process got feedback, made changes, and then asked for more feedback. That can be a tough process, but I think you’ll agree that Kat proves that perseverance can pay off. If you’re interested in seeing some of Kat’s work, check out her website.


Interview with Sarah Stiles

This episode features an interview with Sarah Stiles from Layton, Utah. She specializes in Maternity, Newborns, Children, family, high school senior and wedding photography. 2016 marks the 4th year of doing print competition. Even though everyone one of her entries don’t merit, she still continues to get in there and create images for her clients and for competition. I think that that is something worth celebrating.

Bold and Beautiful

Bold and Beautiful

Earth Angel

Earth Angel

Future Hunter

Future Hunter

Safe In His Arms

Safe In His Arms











Getting Ready for Print Competition

I’m in the middle of getting ready for print competition at the Iowa convention. The images are shot, edited and sent to the lab…I’m just waiting on them to be delivered. I have five images coming from UPS tomorrow. Why five…isn’t the case limit four? Yes, it is, but the Iowa convention allows members to submit the standard four images for competition, and up to four additional images for score only. So in my case, I’m going to pick my favorite four images. Those will be used to determine my total score. The other image will get judged just like the others to see how it would do in competition. If it does better than one of the others, I will swap them to see if I can improve my overall district case. It kind of allows me to test drive one of my images. We’ll see how it goes.

I really struggled with my images this year. Our state sponsors a competition college that allows you to put images in front of Master photographers to get some idea on what they think. I came away from that pretty discouraged. The images I liked the most didn’t really resonate with them, so I was wondering if I would be able to put a case together at all. But I hunkered down and took their advice and worked up some images. I passed them around and feel okay now…not sure how I’ll do, but I feel better about things at least.

Make sure you check out more of Sarah’s work on her website and go out to iTunes to rate the show and leave a comment.

I’m sorry it has been such a long time since I put out an episode. The end of 2015 got a little chaotic, and I haven’t gotten one together until now. Between some personal things going on and work, I didn’t do much pod-casting. I hope I’m back in the groove now. Since the last episode, I’ve been thinking about changes to the podcast. Instead of solely doing interviews with photographers about their competition images, I’d like to have some episodes focusing on techniques and other competition topics.

In this episode, I Interview Steve Kelly. Steve has worked at American Color Imaging for almost 30 years. American Color, or ACI, is a huge supporter of professional photographers. I’ve known Steve for several years, and I am honored to call him a friend. I wanted to talk to him about printing for competition.

As always, feel free to give ratings and comments on iTunes or leave comments on the show notes site, too. If you’ve got questions, you can post them on site or via twitter using #12elements.

PPA Features Dan Frivalt Episode

I’m not sure if you saw it, but the PPA featured the episode with Dan Frievalt a couple weeks ago. That episode has been a hit with the listeners. It didn’t take long for it to hit the this show’s top five listened-to episode. That is pretty exciting stuff. I’m also playing with some additional ideas, and I’d like your feedback.

Looking for Feedback

I’m considering putting together a newsletter that combines a month’s worth of show notes together to make things easier to find. Another thing I’m looking at doing are transcripts of the shows. If these ideas appeal to you, I would love to know. And if they don’t, well, I’d like to know that to.

Let’s get to this week’s interview. When going through the audio in post-production, I found a couple spots where the recording gets a little fuzzy. I’ve cleaned it up a bit, so I hope it doesn’t affect it too much for you.

Interview with Woody Walters

We’re fortunate to have Woody Walters on the show today. Woody is a consummate artist, print competition judge, professional photographer, teacher and speaker. For years, he has shared his artist vision and passion for photography with photographers from around the world. His Digital Photo Candy website provides a unique resource for photographers and digital artists for creating edgy, mind-blowing images.

During the Woody mentions Frank Frazetta as an illustrator. I remember his work from a Molly Hatchet album and several books I read during the 80s and 90s.

Make sure you check out the images we talked about and for links to his websites and other items of interest.

As always, feel free to give ratings and comments on iTunes or leave comments on the show notes site, too. If you’ve got questions, you can post them on site or via twitter using #12elements.

Listening to Some Print Competitions

In several of the episodes, my guests and I have talked a bit about what judges say during the actual print competition. I started thinking that maybe everyone isn’t familiar with that. I found a great website called It has a very modest fee ($10/three months), but it allows you to see images and listen to some print judging. If you’re curious about what that is all about, this might give you a pretty good idea.

Interview with Dan Frievalt

I interview Master Photographer and national speaker Dan Frievalt of Frievalt Photography in Green Bay, WI. I’ve been trying to get Dan on the podcast for a while and I was finally able to. If you’ve not seen Dan’s work or see him speak, I seriously think it is something you should do. He does some mind blowing stuff that has a great balance of grit and beauty….if that makes any sense.

Dan has also taught at After Dark and he shares some stories from those experiences.

Dan and I talk about several of his IPC 2015 images and the stories behind them. Dan really puts it all out there and talks about the story behind each of them. Dan also talks about his cadre of friends that provide him support and help be extra eyes for his images to help him improve. I think that is an important aspect of print competition. Toni Harryman talked about that, too, so if you’d not heard that interview, I suggest checking it out.

Lastly, if you like Dan’s images and would like to watch his process, he has started a new educational site called, The VALT. Dan publishes regular videos out there that show how he gets from his source to final images. It is pretty cool and he leaves nothing out.

Baller, By Dan Frievalt

If You Want Peace, Prepare for War

Urban Warrior



Connect and Chat with the Show

If you have requests for questions for future shows, let me know and I’ll talk about them on future episode. You can email me or hit me up on twitter. My twitter handle is markoehler. Use the hashtag 12elements to help me find those tweets.

I want to thank all of the loyal listeners of the podcast. The show passed its 1000th download in the last week, and in the last couple days downloads have increased eight times what they have been. Thank you for listening and sharing the show with others that you think appreciate the information and stories behind the great images. This show continues to talk about images, but with a little twist because the images of our guest today differ from a lot of images we normally see. I hope you enjoy the stories and the images.


Fish Talk Radio

Print Competition Interview

On this episode of I talk with Master Photographer Thom Rouse from Chicago, IL. We’re lucky to have Thom. He has some cool stuff. I have his book titled, “Latent Icons,” which has an amazing collection of beautiful images. Thom’s art integrates fine portrait with surreal elements to create something I find unique.  I met Thom last February at the Iowa Winter convention. He served as one of the print competition judges and was one of the final keynote speakers for the convention. I admire Thom work as it cuts across some of of the traditional images that we see in print competition, but still maintains a connection to the 12 Elements.

Comments and Tweets

If you have requests for questions for future shows, let me know and I’ll talk about them on future episode. You can email me or hit me up on twitter. My twitter handle is markoehler. Use the hashtag #12elements to help me find those tweets.

Built to Last

Built to Last

The Way To Como

The Way To Como

The Colors of Varenna

The Colors of Varenna

View of Saint Giulio Isle

View of Saint Giulio Isle

If you’ve been watching Facebook over the last week, you have probably seen all the amazing 2015 PPA IPC print competition loan images being shared. There are some incredible professional photographers out there. I believe each of those images has a story behind it. That is what I want this podcast to be about: the stories behind great photos. I try to reach out to as many of the photographers as I can, but I know I don’t get to see all of them. If there are images that you think have a great story behind them, let me know, and I will try to get an interview with the photographer that made them.

This episode features an interview with Mark Bortz of Fusion Edge Photography in Robins, IA. Mark hails from my neck of the woods. I see him and his wife at many of the Iowa events I attend. I’m excited to talk with him today about some great travel photography he entered in the International Print Competition this year. His images went 4 for 4 in the photographic open category.

If you have requests for questions for future shows, let me know and I’ll talk about them on future episode. You can email me or hit me up on twitter. My twitter handle is markoehler . Use the hashtag #12elements to help me find those tweets.

I hope you have all had a good week since the last episode came out.

Today I’m talking with speaker, International Print Competition (IPC) judge, and Professional Photographer Dennis Hammon of Hammon Photography in Idaho Falls, ID. I met Dennis back in the late 90s when he spoke at McKennavention. I’ve always been amazed by his images. He was a judge at the Iowa print competitions a couple years ago and just helped judge at the 2015 IPC. We talk about Dennis’ 2014 IPC images shown here. Please make sure you go out to Dennis’ site to see more of his work and keep up with what is going on with him.

Architect's Dream

Architect’s Dream


Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe Bend







As I work on booking guests for the show, I try to mix things up between the different genre of pictures. I try then to gauge the popularity of the shows based on the number of downloads or listens it has. Most of the  time we talk about pictures that have done well and not those that haven’t done so well. I do that because I don’t want to put people on the spot for images that didn’t merit. I guess, I don’t want to embarrass my guests.

But I have not problem embarrassing myself. My IPC 2015 case went 0  for 4. This week I got my critiques from the case. I thought it might make an interesting show to hear what the judges had to say about those images and areas they thought they were weak. For copyright concerns, I can’t broadcast the actual comments, but I can paraphrase what they said and my thoughts on those comments. If you think that is something you’d like to hear and incorporate into your work, let me know in the show notes or drop me an email.



Show Update

Sorry for the bit of inconsistency in getting episodes out. The recent IPC was causing me some scheduling issues and affected different, scheduled guests. I’m glad to see that we are approaching our 1000th download for the show. It seems to be resonating with you, the listeners. I want you to find value and interesting stories with each episode. If you have guests  you’d like to hear on the show, please let me know and I will work on getting them on the show. Also, if you have topics or questions, forward them on, too.

Interview with Toni Harryman

I interview master photographer Toni Harryman of Johnson Photography in Norwalk, IA. I’ve known Toni for several years. She was the Profesional Photographers of Iowa president when I joined PPIowa. Toni has been one of the great advocates of print competition I’ve met. She always seems to be helping photographers get started with and to grow in print competition. I have been trying for awhile to get her on the podcast, and it finally worked out for her to join us to talk about how to started and tips for you.

Make sure you get out Toni’s website to see her work and contact her.

Comments on iTunes

Remember to go to iTunes and leave comments and rate this show. I’ve found that an iTunes comment can take up to 48 to appear, so don’t worry if they don’t show right away. Also, if you’d like other options for listening to the podcast, let me know, there seem to be new ways to listen to podcasts all the time.

If you have competition prints that have merited, especially at 2015 IPC, I would love to talk to you about them on a future episode. You can contact me through this website or via email at

Upcoming Episodes

Watch for the following future guests on podcast. Remember, you can subscribe on iTunes to automatically get new episodes.

  • Dennis Hammon
  • Mark Bortz
In A Nutshell

In A Nutshell

Well, PPA just finalized the 2015 International Print Competition last week. If you’re like me and you watched any of the streaming of the print judging, you are most likely aware of the incredible images entered this year. I hope you felt confident enough in your images this year to enter, and if you did, I hope you did well. If not, I suggest thinking about images for next year and maybe get inspiration from the guests on the show.


I Think I Hear Him

I Think I Hear Him

Today I’m talking with Certified Professional Photographer and national speaker Bree Barber Adams of Bebe Charm Photography in Mansfield, TX. Bree just completed her PPA Masters degrees at the 2015 International Print Competition. I only recently became familiar with Bree’s work. I have to say, she does great competition and client images. In April, one of her images graced the cover of Professional Photographer magazine.

In the episode Bree talks about the images she entered at the 2015 PPA International Print Competition and how taking a risk gained helped her achieve her PPA Master Photographer Degree.

Make sure you check out Bree’s work on her website. Since several of the images that we talk about were selected for the PPA Loan Collection and the final awards have not be made, but I can share these. The other the images can’t be shared yet, but come back to this page for a link to those images.