Kodak introduced the Gallery Awards in 1985 as a way to honor and promote the importance and value of excellence in professional photography.

Kodak has always represented quality imaging through its many products and services and will continue to work to elevate the importance of professional, quality imaging within the industry, as well as with customers. It's a connection we're pleased to make.

Therefore, we are delighted, once again, to salute and support outstanding professional photography and photographers by presenting the annual KODAK Gallery Elite Awards. The Gallery Awards are judged on a state or regional basis, with winners going on to compete at the national level for the Gallery Elite Award.

1st Place Winner
"Breakfast in Bed" Kimberly Smith

This is a first time Gallery Elite grand-prize for Kimberly Smith, a family portraiture and school photographer. Her winning photograph is a composite of four ordinary images of birds, cups, and saucers that come together to create a spectacular piece of art. Judges praised the piece for its creativity and beautiful, soft tones.

Kimberly aims to capture an emotional resonance with her subjects and, where possible, tell stories about relationships. She is passionate about competitions as a way to experiment and take creative chances. She looks to bring that creative spark back into her photography practice. Kimberly searches for inspiration from ordinary things that can be presented in a different way.  The winning photograph was printed by Miller’s Professional Imaging.

CK Fine Portraits – Muskogee, OK


2nd Place Winner
"Daily Grind" Doug Walker

Doug Walker loves visual storytelling and creating images with impact. “Daily Grind” is a marriage of both. The award winning image of a master welder working his everyday craft in a rustic machine shop, evokes that hard working ethic and feeling of ‘Made in America’, and transforms the viewer back to an earlier age. Judges praised Doug’s wonderful control over a difficult lighting situation and his great technical expertise.

For Doug, a formally trained architectural photographer, “Daily Grind” was the result of a personal challenge to go back to a venue he had previously shot and make a winning photograph that was simple and elegant, with singular focus and impact. These are the same ambitions he brings to his commercial practice. “I have always focused on architectural photography and people on location. Each unique space provides a story to tell, an ever changing landscape of human experience.”

Walker Photography – Olympia, WA

3rd Place Winner
"Queen of Hearts" Ben Shirk

Ben Shirk’s work has been called haunting and dreamlike, a description that comes to life in his fourth Gallery Elite Award for “Queen of Hearts”.  The photograph depicts a fairytale version of the Queen of Hearts from “Allison in Wonderland”. The composite photograph comprises individual models, an old silver gate, backgrounds taken from 5 different castles and dozens of individual, painted roses. Judges praised his imagination and the incredible degree of difficulty involved in creating the image.

Ben’s passion for photography began with drawing people and learning the qualities of light and dark, depth and shading. This foundation led him to discover his unique style, “When you draw something, you have to create it from scratch and think about what makes it interesting. That’s’ what I try and bring to my photography. “

Shirk Photography – Wilton, IA

4th Place Winner
“Knocked Out” Christie Kline

Christie Kline, a baby and children portraiture photographer, uses creativity to capture her subjects in charming ways that draw the viewer into unique details that tell stories. Her winning photograph, “Knocked Out” features a small baby asleep in a tiny boxing ring, with his head nestled on a boxing glove. Judges praised the image for its originality, creativity and ability to communicate a story.

Christie is a second-generation photographer who works closely with her mother who opened a studio in 1977. Christie believes that getting to know each client individually and personally allows her to craft a story and infuse a wide array of creativity and appeal so that each photograph is as individual as its subject.

Son Shine Portrait Design – Germantown, IL