Spring Art Exhibit features Fine Art Photograph by Betsy Finn

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A fine art photograph by Dexter Michigan photographer Betsy Finn has been included in a local spring art exhibit.  The photograph, titled “Jerusalem of Gold,” was taken at sunrise on Easter Sunday.  Finn and her traveling companions arrived at the scenic viewpoint on the Mount of Olives before dawn on the day she created this photograph.  As the sun rose, Finn captured a series of images, and ultimately blended them together to create a breathtaking panoramic view of Jerusalem.  The fine art print is approximately 8″ tall by 40″ long.

Jerusalem of Gold, fine art photograph taken at sunrise on Easter Sunday in Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives.

The spring art exhibit in which Finn’s work is featured is one of three yearly juried shows put on by the Ann Arbor Women Artists, a local non-profit group with about 330+ members.  Finn was one of 35 members whose art was chosen to be included in the spring exhibit, which runs March 13 through April 29th at the Mallets Creek Library in Ann Arbor.

Below are two images from the opening reception, held the evening of Friday, March 18th at the Mallets Creek Branch of the Ann Arbor Public Library.

Betsy Finn's fine art photograph on display at the ann arbor spring art exhibit
Attendees of the opening reception discuss “Jerusalem of Gold” with one another.
Betsy Finn's fine art photograph on display at the ann arbor spring art exhibit
Finn’s fine art photograph was hung in main area where the opening reception was held, alongside many other gorgeous fine art pieces.

The spring art exhibit will be on display at the Mallets Creek Library in Ann Arbor through April 29th.  We hope you will consider stopping by to view the many wonderful artworks on display.  Many of the art pieces on display, including Finn’s panorama, “Jerusalem of Gold,” are for sale, so if you’re looking to add some art by local artists to your fine art collection, this might be the perfect opportunity to view a variety of pieces.

The Making of “Uphill Battle”

posted in: Fine Art | 19

Over the next few months, I thought I would feature the stories behind some of my award-winning photographs. This one, titled “Uphill Battle,” was accepted into 2007 PPA International Print Exhibition.

Uphill Battle - Award-Winning Fine Art Photograph

The Making of “Uphill Battle”

This photograph looks like a well planned still life, but sometimes with a good eye, you can find nature photographs that have been arranged for you. Uphill Battle was one such fine art photograph. While in Arizona, visiting my grandparents, I was having a lovely time being outdoors in the warmth, searching for suitable subjects to photograph. After all, during the winter months, who doesn’t want to escape from the snow here in Michigan (once in a while)? Now, granted, my reasons for being in Arizona were more somber – my grandfather’s body was ridden with cancer, and he was in hospice. Shortly after our return, my grandfather passed away (his memorium). This image serves as a reminder of that for me. In fact, my grandfather was one of the people who inspired me to pursue photography, first as a hobby, then as a profession. I’ve shared a candid photo of him below.

Major McKinley AshAnyways, as dusk neared, this grasshopper was resting on one of the plants near my grandparents’ home. The background of this photograph, which I love the texture of, by the way, is simply the block fence in their backyard. Nothing spectacular, but with a creative eye and some on-the-fly planning, it serves as a vital element of the image.


“Uphill Battle” was given its name because, well, let’s face it. Sometimes life is tough. For people, for a grasshopper — it doesn’t matter. In this photograph, he is hanging onto a plant, resting before he resumes his efforts to survive. Life is a battle, and often it seems uphill. Often the challenges seem insurmountable. I’ve been at points in my life where I feel like there is too much on my plate to handle. Fortunately, grace gives me the strength to carry on. Life’s obstacles are a given, we can’t escape the rough spots. But, we can count on them to test us, to challenge us, to make us grow.

Throughout history, mankind has had a tenacity to hold on, to perservere.  Offhand, I can think of two similar proverbs that address this.  

  • “Fall down seven, get up eight,” – Japanese Proverb
  • “For though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again.” – Proverbs 24:16

No matter what, keep trying.  Never give up. Life isn’t a piece of cake. It is, more often than not, an uphill battle. And I’m so grateful to have wonderful people in my life to support me through the tough times. My husband. My parents and in-laws. My family. My friends. And last, but not least, my faith. Everyone has their way of dealing with life’s uphill battles — and everyone who is determined to not give up will find themselves a stronger person for it.

Betsy earns Master of Photography Degree

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Betsy Finn, Master of PhotographyBetsy Finn of Betsy’s Photography in Dexter, Michigan has earned her Master of Photography degree from Professional Photographers of America (PPA). The degree was presented to Finn by PPA President Don Dickson, M.Photog.Cr,. CPP, at the association’s degree and awards ceremony, held on January 17th, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Finn meets the standards of excellence set by PPA, and was awarded the Master of Photography degree for her superior photographic competence demonstrated through success in photographic competition, advanced education and service to the profession. Finn’s series of award-winning competition prints that qualified her to receive her Master of Photography degree include a variety of subjects, from animals and landscapes to portraits of children, seniors and families.

When paired with Finn’s accomplishment from 2010 (earning her Photographic Craftsman degree), the expertise required to attain this pair of degrees illustrates Finn’s accomplishments and talent as one of a select few. In fact, very few photographers achieve both these degrees and very rarely before the age of 30. Finn is the only photographer in the Dexter Ann Arbor area to have received both her Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman degrees; she is the youngest photographer in the state of Michigan to have earned both degrees while running her own studio.

Finn began providing photographic services to the Ann Arbor, Michigan, area seven years ago (and has been a Certified Professional Photographer since 2006). She is a former member of PPA’s council (2009-2012). In 2010, Professional Photographer magazine named Finn one of professional photography’s top ten photographers under the age of 30.

PPA, a worldwide association, exists to assist its more than 22,000 members in achieving their professional, artistic and fraternal goals; promote public awareness of the profession; and to advance the making of images in all of its disciplines as an art, a science, and a visual recorder of history.

Michigan Portraits Receive International Recognition

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Atlanta, GA — Portrait Photographs created by Betsy Finn of Betsy’s Photography in Dexter have been accepted into the General Collection of Professional Photographers of America’s 2011 International Photographic Competition. Finn’s work will be on display at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, from January 15-17, 2012. This exhibition is held in conjunction with Imaging
USA, an annual convention of professional photographers and several photographic associations.

A panel of over 50 eminent jurors from across the United States selected the top images from more than 4,000 total submitted entries. Three of Finn’s portraits will be displayed in New Orleans alongside other photographic works from PPA’s photographic competition and traveling and special invitational displays. These images constitute the world’s largest annual exhibit of professional photography gathered simultaneously under one roof.

The portrait below was created for a Detroit area model — the artistic nude portrait was titled: “Flesh Tones.” It received a merit award and will be on display in New Orleans:
Dexter Michigan Artistic Studio Portrait

This portrait of a high school senior was also awarded a merit and will be displayed. Titled “Tuned Out,” it features the senior’s unique and individualized sense of style:
Ann Arbor Michigan High School Senior Portrait

Finally, a family portrait of a father with his child was Finn’s final image to receive a merit award this year. The image captures the loving relationship between the daughter and her father:
Dexter Michigan Family Portrait

This was Finn’s fifth year participating in the International Print Competition — her portraits and photographs have received awards each and every year she has entered (2010, 2009, 2008, 2007). While the awards Finn has received are a testament to her creativity and dedication to excellence, the awards her portraits have received aren’t just for show. Finn frequently enters images created during client portrait sessions to prove that the quality of her “everyday” work is just as noteworthy as any self-assignment.

Betsy Receives DPPA Service Medallion

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Detroit, Mich. — At the Detroit Professional Photographers Association (DPPA) banquet on June 14th, 2011, Betsy Finn of Betsy’s Photography was awarded the DPPA Service Degree medallion. While Betsy was not able to accept the award in person, she was honored to receive this recognition.

The DPPA Service Degree Program was established to recognize those individuals who have given outstanding service and their personal time for the betterment of the organization. To be eligible to receive the DPPA Service Degree, a member must have obtained a minimum of 25 service merits, which are earned by volunteering, for example, or participating in competitions. Past President Paul D’Aigle noted in the most recent DPPA newsletter:

“Those who appreciate our Association, and help in various ways to make it a better Association for all of its members, should be acknowledged for their service. Receiving an award for such service is an excellent way for the DPPA to say ‘Thank you’ to our hard working members.”

Betsy has been more than willing to give of her time and share her knowledge with others — and that is one of the reasons she was eligible for the DPPA Service Degree medallion.

The Detroit Professional Photographers Association (DPPA) is Michigan’s largest affiliate for the national organization, Professional Photographers of America (PPA). DPPA was established in 1915 to serve the professional photographic community by offering educational opportunities to help photographers grow their business and improve their artistic abilities. Betsy has been a member of DPPA since 2006.

Betsy Finn, owner of Betsy’s Photography, is a Certified Professional Photographer and award-winning photographic artist whose work has received local and national recognition. Betsy’s Photography studio is located in Dexter, Mich., and provides portrait services to clients in Southeast Michigan. For more information, visit the studio website: bphotoart.com.

Jerusalem of Gold

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So there is no way I can really do this print justice on the web. But, it’s one of the images I created while in Israel earlier this year. It also was accepted into the 2010 International Print Exhibition, organized by the Professional Photographers of America (PPA). This image of Jerusalem was taken during Holy Week from the Mount of Olives, around sunrise on Easter morning. Beautiful city. Lots of history. Many stories to be discovered.

Jerusalem of Gold, fine art photograph taken at sunrise on Easter Sunday in Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives.

I have some plans for unveiling the rest of the images I created while in Israel and Italy. But it might require some patience on your part :).

Award-Winning Portraits :: Detroit Competition

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Yesterday evening, I was in Detroit for a local print competition, held by the Detroit Professional Photographers’ Association (DPPA). As usual, I helped behind the scenes (tallying and recording scores this time around), and got to have a unique perspective as events unfolded. I entered five portraits and one landscape. The landscape received a red ribbon (award of merit), and all five portraits received blue ribbons (awards of excellence)!

bphotoart-tuned-out Read More

Featured in Professional Photographer Magazine

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Exciting news! Betsy was recently named one of professional photography’s top ten photographers under the age of 30. An article in Professional Photographer featured the ten up-and-coming photography studios who received this honor. The GenNEXT studios, including Betsy’s Photography, were hand-picked from Professional Photographers of America’s (PPA) membership of more than 22,000 photographers around the world.

In addition to being featured in Professional Photographer magazine, the GenNext studios have been invited to speak at Imaging USA, the largest imaging convention for professional photographers, held in early 2011. What an exciting honor; we here at the studio are very pleased Betsy was included as one of the up-and-coming photographers to watch!

Within this elite group of up-and-coming photographers, Betsy is the only one to hold the Photographic Craftsman degree. In addition to having attained the Photographic Craftsman degree, Betsy is also a Certified Professional Photographer, and recipient of back-to-back Photographer of the Year awards (2008 + 2009) from PPA. For more information about Betsy’s Photography, please contact the studio at 734-424-0472.

Michigan Service Award Medallion

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Troy, Mich — At the annual awards ceremony held by the Professional Photographers of Michigan on February 22nd, Betsy Finn was one of several photographers to receive the Michigan Service Award medallion.

Initially called the Michigan Fellowship Award, its name was changed to the Michigan Service Award to signify the exemplary service and contribution to the Professional Photographers of Michigan (PPM).

Since the Michigan Service Award was designed to recognize outstanding service to the Professional Photographers of Michigan. The motivation for service should not be the award, but the new friends and benefits photographers provide to their fellow members.

As we service side by side we are providing the foundation for our association to better serve each of us. The involvement of all members in the operation and advancement of the association will bring about strength and unity far beyond that which could be achieved by any of us individually. – PPM

Betsy Finn is an award-winning photographic artist. Named 2008 + 2009 Photographer of the Year by PPA, Betsy also received her Photographic Craftsman Degree from PPA in January 2010. Her studio, Betsy’s Photography, is located in Southeast Michigan and provides creative photographic services for portrait and wedding clients.


Betsy earns Photographic Craftsman Degree

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Betsy and Steven after Betsy receives Photographic Craftsman degree.Last week, we were in Nashville, TN for a very special occasion! At the photographer convention I attend every year, I was honored with an award and a degree during the awards ceremony.

I shared about the Photographer of the Year award this past summer, when I found out that four portraits of my clients were accepted into the exhibition. Getting my degree, though, was the highlight of the trip. After putting in many hours and months of hard work, I can now officially say that I have my Photographic Craftsman degree. During the ceremony, I was presented with my degree by Ron Nichols, the president of PPA; Steven conferred the degree medallion to me at that time too. The snapshot to the right is of Steven, my husband, and I after the awards ceremony — the blue ribbon around my neck holds the medallion at represents my degree. Take a peek at the end of this post to see a more close-up view of the medallion.

While I’m by no means the youngest photographer to receive this degree, achieving this degree so early definitely puts me ahead of the curve! It’s really flattering to be recognized for all the time and effort I’ve put into the art and craft of photography.

Here’s the official press release:

Betsy Finn of Betsy’s Photography in Dexter, MI has earned the Photographic Craftsman degree from Professional Photographers of America. The degree was presented to Finn by PPA President Ron Nichols, M.Photog.Cr.Hon.M.Photog., API at the awards ceremony on January 12, 2010 during the association’s annual convention, Imaging USA in Nashville, TN.

Finn has met the standards of excellence set by the Professional Photographers of America. She has been awarded the Photographic Craftsman degree in recognition of her service to the photographic profession as an orator, author and mentor.

Professional Photographers of America, a worldwide association, exists to assist its more than 22,000 members in achieving their professional, artistic and fraternal goals; promote public awareness of the profession; and to advance the making of images in all of its disciplines as an art, a science, and a visual recorder of history.

Betsy Finn, Photographic Craftsman, Certified Professional Photographer

Landscape Photography

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I wanted to share this series of landscape images with you.  The photographs were created in Oahu, Hawaii.  Earlier this year, the composition won 1st place at the Detroit Professional Photographers’ Association (DPPA) Folio Competition, in the Illustrative category.

About DPPA: Photographers meet on a monthly basis to network with fellow photographers to learn from each other, attend seminars & workshops to further their photographic education, and compete in photo competitions to be critique by their peers and to further their skills. Furthermore, all photographers abide by a strict Code of Ethics established by the DPPA to promote good business ethics and dedication to the photographic industry, as well as provide their clients a truly professional experience.

Portraits of Ann Arborites to be included in International Exhibition

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Gwinnent, GA – July 9th, 2009 – Artistic photographs featuring Dexter-Ann Arbor area residents were recently accepted into the PPA Showcase Book Volume XII and the 2009 International Print Exhibition, organized by the Professional Photographers of America (PPA). Local photographer Betsy Finn, CPP, submitted four images for consideration, all featuring clients from Southern Michigan. Almost 1,700 of the 4,300 entries were accepted into the 2009 International Print Exhibition, including all four of Finn’s images. “I was excited to learn two of my portraits would be published in the showcase collection book,” Finn said, “and I was very happy that all my entries were accepted into the exhibition.”

The PPA Showcase Book Volume XII will be available through Marathon Press next winter. It is published in eight countries across the world. Fewer than five percent of the 4,300 total submissions were selected to be published in the book – including two of Finn’s portraits: “Forever Faithful” and “Little Einstein.” “Forever Faithful” features a client’s pet border collie, and “Little Einstein” features an infant with mussed hair and an expression reminiscent of the genius, Albert Einstein. Both images were created during Finn’s standard client sessions.

Little Einstein by Betsy Finn, Cr. Photog., CPP

Forever Faithful by Betsy Finn, Cr. Photog., CPP

Finn’s other entries included an engagement portrait (“Joyride”), and a senior portrait (“Soul Shoes”). “Joyride” depicts an engaged couple in their convertible on the road in the Dexter-Ann Arbor area. “Soul Shoes” depicts a high school senior’s feet among empty pairs of shoes; it received Detroit’s 2009 Best of Show award earlier this year.

Joyride by Betsy Finn, Cr. Photog., CPP

Soul Shoes by Betsy Finn, Cr. Photog., CPP

In addition to being published, Finn’s work will be on display at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, January 10-12, 2010, in Nashville, Tenn. The exhibition will feature almost 1700 images representing the diverse elements of professional photography and digital imaging, including images by some of the world’s most prominent image makers. Images were chosen by a panel of more than 40 eminent photographers from across the United States. The International Exhibition of Professional Photography is the world’s largest and longest-running annual photography exhibition. The International Print Exhibition is displayed in conjunction with the Imaging USA convention, hosted by the Professional Photographers of America.

At the convention, Finn will receive a 2009 Photographer of the Year, Bronze award (because all four of her entries were accepted into the exhibition). In 2008, only fifty photographers received this award — including Finn. When asked about the back-to-back recognition, Finn said “I was completely taken by surprise. Receiving a Photographer of the Year award is no small feat, let alone getting it for a second year in a row. It’s really exciting!” When entering the PPA competition, Finn decided all her entries would feature client portraits. Finn’s competition results exemplify the work her clients receive: Showcase quality.

Betsy Finn was born and raised in Ann Arbor and now lives in Dexter. She is a Certified Professional Photographer, and her work has been featured in International Exhibitions. Her portrait studio, Betsy’s Photography, offers a creative portrait experience tailored to each client’s vision. She was named 2008 Photographer of the Year by the Professional Photographers of America, as well as Michigan’s Top 7 Photographer of 2009 by the Professional Photographers of Michigan. Finn is available for interviews, and can be reached at 734-424-0472. For more information about Betsy’s Photography Studio, visit BetsysPhotography.com.


Portraits of Steven + Betsy

posted in: Photography | 1

Well you may have noticed some new photographs of me floating around the website.  And I’m really excited to share some more of them with you.  In January, I was talking with a good friend of mine (Jeff Dachowski) about how Steven and I would really love to have an amazing portrait of the two of us.

There is something to be said for having a professional create your portrait (yes, even professional photographers go to other professional photographers for portraits).  By not doing it yourself, you can actually relax and enjoy the whole experience.  Jeff made sure we looked good, and did all the work.  And I love the natural expressions of our relationship that he captured.

Our portrait session took place in Phoenix during January’s Imaging USA convention.  In fact, it was the evening of the awards ceremony where I was recognized for being Photographer of the Year.  My friend Jeff and his wife both received Degrees from the Professional Photographers of America that evening too!  So, all in all, it was a very fun time.

Oh, and I have to tell you.  My hair is NEVER curly like this.  I didn’t even know it was possible!  But, thanks to another photographer friend of mine (Thanks Andrea!), my hair stayed curly and wavy all night long.  Very impressive.

I absolutely love this image (yes, I’m excited about these, can you tell!):

This one is also gorgeous.  Love the lighting fixtures in the hotel lobby (we’re overlooking it from that balcony).

And then finally, I asked Jeff if we could do one with us on the escalator.  So, being the good sport he is, Jeff happily obliged!

This session was a blast, and I really enjoyed being the center of attention for once (yes, I am a photographer who doesn’t mind being in front of the camera every once in a while).  I am so excited to find a place for these lovely images in our home.  Thanks Jeff, Andrea, and other photographer friends who participated behind the scenes for our mini-session!

Michigan’s Top 7 Photographer (Again!)

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Betsy Finn named one of Michigan's Top 7 Photographer of 2009 at the annual Convention (Professional Photographers of Michigan).This past week has been pretty busy for us here at the studio.  In addition to our normal studio appointments, Betsy was busy attending a conference held by the Professional Photographers of Michigan.

Now, you might recall that Betsy was named Top 7 Photographer of 2008 last year.   The Top 7 Photographer award  is awarded to photographers whose combined print scores place them in the top 7 ranking.

This year, Betsy entered six photographs into the 2009 print competition, and as you can tell in the image to the left, did very well!  Three of her images received blue ribbons, and three received red ribbons.

The more exciting awards were given out at the Professional Photographers of Michigan Awards Banquet on Monday night.  Betsy was honored to receive the Top 7 Photographer award for a second year running!  And, a print judge loved one of Betsy’s images enough that it received received a Court of Honor (Judge’s Choice) award for the Illustrative category (Purple Ribbon in photograph at left).

Of course, the print competition wasn’t Betsy’s only reason for attending the convention.  Betsy spent time networking with other creative professionals in the industry, and attended several seminars on the art and business of photography.  It’s always great to see a professional who is truly dedicated to providing “the best” for her clients.

So, when you see Betsy, make sure to congratulate her for being named Michigan’s Top 7 Photographer… again!  (Hmm, can we say deja vu… Best of Show at Detroit Print Competition two years running too?)

Local Photographer Earns Bronze Level Photographer of the Year Award

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Betsy Finn of Betsy’s Photography Studio in Dexter, Michigan has earned a Bronze Level Photographer of the Year Award from the Professional Photographers of America (PPA). Photographer of the Year presentations were made at PPA’s annual convention, Imaging USA, in January in Phoenix, AZ.

Betsy Finn Photographer of the Year

2004 was the inaugural year for PPA’s Photographer of the Year Awards. They were developed as a way to encourage photographers to improve their artistic and technical skills and demonstrate their talent through competition, as well as a way for the public to discern the best of the best.

“These awards are among the most prestigious in the industry,” confirms PPA Print Exhibition Committee Chairman Helen Yancy. “The recipients of these awards have proven the quality of their work on a consistent basis in one of the highest quality image competitions in the world, PPA’s International Print Competition.”

A PPA member earns a Bronze Level Photographer of the Year Award by placing all four images included in their print case in PPA’s renowned General Collection – and incredible accomplishment. In 2008 Finn was one of only 54 Bronze Level Photographers of the Year.

PPA, a worldwide association, exists to assist its more than 20,000 members in achieving their professional, artistic and fraternal goals, promote public awareness of the profession and to advance the making of images in all of its disciplines as an art, a science and a visual recorder of history.

Article about Betsy in Ann Arbor News

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Well, we haven’t seen it ourselves yes, but On Sunday I was mentioned in the Ann Arbor News! Very exciting, don’t you think? If you recall, one of my images won Best of Show at the Detroit Professional Photographers’ annual print competition.

A blurb was mentioned in the Business Notes section, and an article, “Betsy Finn’s photos garner awards,” was published in the Entertainment section, I believe.

Once I find out more details, I’ll be sure to spill the beans, don’t worry. In the meantime, if you can’t wait, go Look in your newspaper and check it out yourself:

Detroit Professional Photographers’ Association Print Competition Winner

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Well, I got my Detroit Professional Photographers’ Association (DPPA) newsletter in the mail today. On page nine, I found a pleasant surprise!


Yup, that’s me, in my consultation room. the editor of the newsletter came out a number of weeks ago to “interview” me for the newsletter, but by the time this arrived in the mail, that had completely slipped my mind!

Congratulations to all the other category winners 🙂 — with all the hullabaloo the day of the print competition, I think I forgot to say that to you!

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