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Jerry W. Venz, PPA Master Photographer; WPPI: APM & AOPA; PPCF; PPCS; PPSCVF; PPSCVS
Thirty-five years ago Jerry surprised the “Old Timers” in PSA fine art competitions with his multiply-color-toned, black and white photograms on Luminos resin coat papers. He went on to experiment with Xerox color copies of his hand toned black and white prints to create more vibrant colors than the toners were capable of. To further set himself apart, he began experimenting with Kodak Hi-speed Ektachrome Infrared film in conjunction with the various filters built into his 16mm fish-eye lens. Using this combination, he produced some startling interpretations of well-known landmarks found within Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, Arches National Monument, and the town of Bodie. In addition to nature photography, Jerry also took time during this early part of his career to embark upon photographic architectural studies. As the years went by, Jerry acquired experience working with a wide variety of photographic subjects in every environment available to him. From decrepit Western frontier structures to the mighty Roman Colosseum, race cars to motorcycles and skateboarders, vintage airplanes to traditional Japanese gardens, there is little which has managed to escape Jerry's artistic eye.
Jerry joined PPSCV, his local PPA affiliate at the time, in 1986 and started professional print competition, attending the state convention and annual studies with the big names in photography through West Coast Schools at the Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara. Within three year's time, Jerry had launched his professional career in photography by establishing Venz Fine Photography and his own home-based studio. In 1994, and again in 2001, he was awarded the title of PPSCV’s Photographer of the Year. He was also President of his local affiliate in 2000 and again in 2001. Jerry continued to enter prints in PPA International competitions with the goal of earning his Masters Degree, which he received in 2002. His work has been published in three PPA Loan Collection books, along with one of his images having been used in syndication by PPA to promote family portraiture. He was awarded the title of Capri Albums Portrait Photographer of the year in 2003, when he won their international print competition and received their grand prize of a vacation on the Isle of Capri, Italy.
Looking for new challenges, he joined WPPI in 2004 and started entering in their international print competitions. He received the Accolade of Photographic Mastery from WPPI in 2004 and by 2007 had attained WPPI’s next degree level, the Accolade of Outstanding Photographic Achievement. It was during this time that Jerry and Kathi began speaking at various professional photographic associations in California and at their state convention. During one of their speaking engagements in 2005, which was about the digital transition, they were approached by the Fuji Film Western regional representative and asked to join the Fuji Talent Team, which Jerry and Kathi were a part of for three years.
Big changes in 2009 brought a relocation to Idaho and the reinvention and renaming of their studio to The Storytellers, reflecting the way the business of photography has changed. Freshly energized by the move to Eagle, Idaho, Jerry and Kathi are currently exploring the natural landscapes of this magnificent snow country and adding to their already extensive fine art portfolio.