MPI Success Story - Nancy Flammea

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

MPI Success Story - Nancy Flammea

First Time in the History of MPI

For the first time in the history of MPI, member earns POY in a Category and Grand Master Photographer title all in first year entering! 

Wow, wow, wow!! What an amazing accomplishment and one to be extremely proud of. Hard work, dedication, and vision for her work, is what it took for Nancy to earn such amazing success.



Interview - Nancy Flammea from Australia


Q1 - Your amazing success with the IIC and the MPI International Photographic Program are the first of its kind with the Master Photographers International. Were you aware that you are the very first member to earn a Masters’ and Grand Masters’ Degree all in one year? How do feel about this amazing accomplishment? 


A1 - This was a very special moment for me when all the hard work paid off and I was rewarded for my craft. I had absolutely no idea that I would achieve Grand Masters let alone Masters’ especially in one year and I have to say it was an amazing feeling. I am truly humbled to have obtained that title.


Q2 - To top your achievement above, you were also successful in taking the title home as the MPI 2021 International Portrait Photographer of the Year. Did you expect to win a Photographer of the Year tittle when you entered for the MPI IIC for the first time? 


A2 - International Portrait Photographer of the Year 2021; WOW what an absolute thrill! One always hopes to achieve this level, but it’s never easy with the immense amount of talent in the industry today. I feel completely honoured to have been awarded this title.


Q3 - During the 2019 MPI annual international competition, tell us about your two highest scoring images. 1. Wait, Let Me Take a Selfie 2. Renaissance Mother. What do you remember when capturing these two images and what inspired you to create these two images? 




A3 - Both of these images are very special to me for very different reasons.

The idea for “Renaissance Mother” was influenced by the many inspirational paintings of reclining nudes depicting women at ease in their own skin. The addition of a child with its mother and the connection between the two, I felt made for a very powerful story. I think when viewing this image, you catch a glimpse of a quiet moment between mother and child, peaceful, content and reassuring. There is an air of confidence and ease about her as she takes the time to just be present. I was very fortunate to have a client who was comfortable enough to go along with my idea. 




“Wait Let Me Take a Selfie” I had always wanted to create a Marie Antoinette style image and it took a long time to develop this one. I wanted it to be lush and opulent, but I only have a small studio and so had to work within those confines. I started a story board of fabrics, costumes, wigs, shoes etc. to get the right colour pallet. Slowly I collected the furniture, styled my own wig, and found the right costume. Finally, everything was in place. My idea for this image was a twist on the similarities of a self indulgent, entitled generation. With today’s rise in social media and influencers by the thousands, it’s not only the elite who come across as self absorbed. Using the modern selfie stick, clearly an important tool for today’s influencer, hopefully connected the two eras. 

Q4 - When you create a portrait, what are some of the things you look for when trying to decide how to set up the scene and story? 

A4 - When I meet the person, I am going to photograph, I wait for a sense of them, or who they might have been in a previous life. It’s like waiting for an old memory to come back to me, just hovering in the background. Once I have established that feeling, I wait for the idea to develop and go from there. Of course, costumes play a huge part in the story making of my images, even if it’s just the suggestion or impression of a particular era, it can influence the mood of the image greatly. Some scenes I keep quite simple and allow the expression of the person I’m photographing to dictate the feel. In other images, I’m much more meticulous and will have a few hidden symbols, much like the old Masters left in their paintings. Mostly I want to capture a mood or atmosphere. I don’t think every image needs a full story, sometimes it’s just a portrait, something beautiful to look at and read into it what you like. 


Q5 - What is your thought process when selecting images for competition? 

A5 - I find selecting which images to enter very difficult. I love them all for different reasons and I never know how someone else will feel about your image. It is very subjective, one image may do poorly in one competition then do really well in another and although none of them are perfect, you can only hope that the judges get a sense of what you were trying to say through your image. 


Q6 - Are you comfortable in letting us know how many images you entered to have such great success? 

A6 - I entered 41 images across several categories. Because it was my first time entering your competition, I was unfamiliar with the many different categories and classes. I found it hard to decide which images would do well, so, I entered quite a few.

Q7 - You enter numerous competitions internationally; do you believe that competition pushes a photographer to create better images while inspiring them? 

A7 - I am a big believer that entering photographic competitions greatly contributes to improving one’s work and reaching higher standards. I am constantly blown away by the excellence in the competitions I enter and feel I must strive even harder to keep a high level of quality.

Q8 - How did you feel when you heard that your images where successful in earning you one of the highest portrait accolades with the 2021 MPI International Image Challenge?

A8 - I was speechless, I couldn’t believe how successful and how well received my work was. It was a very proud moment and one I won’t forget. It became very real when my trophies arrived which I have displayed prominently in my studio.

Q9 - What camera gear do you use and what software to create your pieces?

A9 - I use a Canon EOS 5D Mark iV together with a Canon zoom lens EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM. Of course, my creations would not come to life without Adobe Lightroom CC and Adobe Photoshop CC to complete the overall feel and mood of the image.


Is there anything else you would like to include? 

Yes, I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Master Photographers International and the IIC judging panel. Thank you for the insightful comments, and to all involved in the organisation of this fantastic competition. Congratulations to everyone who entered. I feel privileged to be amongst such great talent. There is always something new to learn and goals to aim for in photography, just enjoy the journey.

Nancy Flammea

Nancy earned the following titles in her first year as an MPI Member 

International Portrait Photographer of the Year
Master Photographer in Portrait - MPP
Grand Master Photographer in Portrait  - GMPP
Accredited Photographer in Fine Art Portraits. 

We have included the images which helped Nancy earn her Grand Master Photographer in Portrait Degree 

Interview by Tula Edmunds



Author: Tula Edmunds
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1 comments on article "MPI Success Story - Nancy Flammea"

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Andy. Glogower

7/13/2022 4:00 AM

Thanks for sharing. Such creative work and very well executed!

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