The Icon International Photography Awards annual competition celebrates iconic photography with a primary focus on inspiration, education, integrity, and the power of print to elevate the photography industry.

The Icon Awards continues the 30+ year legacy originally created by the WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) annual photography competition. When WPPI decided to discontinue their photography competition in 2023, Jerry and Melissa Ghionis launched the Icon Awards and continued this tradition of celebrating excellence in photography.

Jerry’s love affair with print competition began in 1999 when he entered his very first print competition and continued when he first began entering the WPPI competition in 2003. Since then, Jerry has become the most awarded photographer in WPPI history and has been involved in every aspect of the competition: first as an entrant, then as a judge and chairperson, a host of the awards night ceremony, and finally, as a director of the competition.

For the last ten years, Jerry and Melissa have played an integral part in the management and execution of the WPPI annual competition. They volunteered to come on board to help revive the accreditation program, refine the genres and categories to celebrate all disciplines, and help grow the competition into one that photographers widely considered the "Wimbledon" of the photography industry. They have managed and overseen the judges, print handlers, print hangers, awards night, and the overall process and logistics, including having the physical prints delivered to their studio in Las Vegas each year to be sorted and organized before the judging.

Once WPPI's competition ceased operations, it was a logical progression to decide to create and manage a new competition with complete autonomy. Over the last year, Jerry and Melissa have reimagined a brand-new sustainable competition and awards accreditation program. The Icon International Photography Awards continues WPPI's legacy as the world's most prestigious wedding and portrait photography competition.

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