Master Photographers International / Thursday, January 18, 2024 / Categories: MPI NEWS

Passing on the Title - MPI 8th Annual POY André Boto

Interview with MPI 8th Annual TOP International POY Andre Boto Success Story

Passing on the Title - MPI 8th Annual POY André Boto

The 8th Annual IIC Awards witnessed a fierce competition among top international photographers. 

The MPI International Imaging Competition, a source of inspiration and educational platform for photographers, continues to foster talent globally. Master Photographers International, established in 2013, launched its first annual award in 2015, offering one of the finest photographic competition and programs.

The MPI and IIC founders sought to enrich the photographic community by establishing one of the most respected competition programs in the industry. Now celebrating its 9th year, the International Imaging Competition has drawn entrants from over 140 countries, clearly reflecting its global appeal.

Each year, the IIC Winners pass on the title with an interview of some of their perspectives and journey within the photographic industry. André Boto, earned the TOP Photographer in the annual competition earning the highest score from the 6 TOP Photographers of the Year which are named in each category. This is an amazing honor and one that any photographer should be extremely proud of. 

André's Awards Include: 
IIC TOP International Photographer of the Year
Fine Art Photographer of the Year
First Place in Fine Art Category - Still Life for "Black Slices" 
First Place in Fine Art Category - Architecture "Lines and Shapes"
First Place in Digital Art Category - Digitally Created Fantasy "The False Illusions" 

Andreas success as well included bringing home the SILVER CUP for his country Portugal 

A huge congratulations to
André Boto of Portugal! 

Interview with André Boto

Q1 – Can you talk to us a bit about your how you created your 4 winning images and what you look for when selecting images for competitions (If you can speak on each image, that would be great).

In the case of Fine Art, is something very subjective and embracing and at first glance we never know in what directions are the judges going in that category. It's expectable to have some lower-scored images. So, I decided to enter with completely different images from different projects without relation, hoping to maintain the impact/surprise effect and have some high-scored images. That's why I have a mix of images in my group of 4 winning images.

Black Slices
This image is part of a new creative project where I cut the objects, sand them and at the end paint them with colored spray. In each image I paint everything with just one color, In this case, the color was black. So, the work behind this image is a mix of photography and a lot of bricolage before even thinking in touch with the camera. OF course, in the end, I used Photoshop to help with the horizontal slices and making objects fly.

Lines And Shapes
A part of my photographic work for clients is to photograph hotels, companies and a lot of times I need to photograph architecture. Sometimes I don´t have the freedom to explore something a little bit more creative in terms of post-production and mood created. But, other times, I can create, and one of my favorite styles is this high contrasted images, with this dark mood, where the more dense parts of the image turn black or a strong grey. I like a lot to create volumes, many times I increase the highlights in the image and turn the shadows stronger, to create or enhance the volume of the architecture.

I wanted to create a more graphical image where the egg (yellow) was the star, the highlight of the image. The solution was to paint everything white and let the yellow from the egg shine. This image it's not from the same project as the first one (Black Slices) but the way I manipulated the objects it's similar. I went to the shop to buy all the objects needed, I painted them all with white spray and then I went to the photoshoot. In this case, there was no manipulation, just the color correction to avoid some small color cast.

I used: Sony a7R IV + Sony FE 24-70 2.8 and f/13, 1/125s with ISO 160.

In this case, it´s the same concept and way of thinking used in the image: “Lines and Shapes”.

(The 4 winning images that earned Andre his title are displayed in gallery below)

Q2 – Talk to us a bit about your Fine Art images and what inspired you to create your powerful images as you create. How long did it take you to develop your amazing talent, and how did you come to create your images? Did you have professional training?

I´m a professional photographer now, but I started with a degree in Decorative Arts (back in 2002/2003) and then I completed courses in Advanced Photography and Conceptual Photography. This helped me with the part of creating a project, making a sketch, making some bricolage if needed, shooting and at the end the post-production. I always think that training is the fastest way to reach a goal.

About the power of the images, I always liked to produce to create impact in the viewers, a little bit of psychology, and this is a cool challenge. If a person looks at my image for more than 1 second it's a good sign, it means the image is telling something.

About the process, sometimes I take some days just to develop this kind of project and the first step is the research, stop and look at what I have around, and, what the objects I have around can give me. I do kind of brainstorm with the objects I have around me, trying to inspire myself. This initial phase it´s maybe the most important one and it's where I plan everything.

Q3 – Do you enter many competitions and enjoy competing. Has competition helped you grow over the years? This was your first year competing in the IIC, how did you find the entry process? What can you tell others entering the IIC on how you select your images for entry.

My daily work is as a photographer, so, most part of my work is for the clients, but, sometimes I feel I need to create something for me, where I have all the freedom. I have fun creating my own projects and the competitions are a good way to understand at what level my images are.

I started to enter competitions in 2005 in a drawing competition with success, then I decided to start to enter photo competitions too, and I found out that it was a good way to keep myself updated in terms of what's new in this market, It's challenging to compete against images from the top photographers in the world, and for me, just creating the images from the beginning to the end, it's something motivational. It's a learning process the action of creating images, and the same when I look at the winners of the competitions and try to put myself in the place of the judges analyzing what impacted them.

It was the first time for me to enter the IIC, in the beginning, because this competition is not like most of the competitions, it takes longer to learn the way it works. In IIC, I found something I never saw in other competitions, the Facebook help group works, and we can see all the questions answered very quickly. It's important to have some guidance about the mechanics of the competition and some advice about what categories our images fit. Overall, I found this competition a very serious one, with really nice support, it's a competition for every kind of images. It's really cool to have the feedback on the images from the judges at the end, and the trophies are something that I have no words to describe, they look amazing. When we see the past winners, we see some renowned photographers, and it´s cool and challenging to have our images competing against the best photographers in the world.

To the people who are looking to enter for the first time, read carefully all the rules and regulations, something I always do when entering for the first time is exploring the past winners to try to understand if my style will work in the competition, or not.


Q4 – What an amazing accomplishment in earning Fine Art POY and then to end up winning TOP Photographer of the Year!! WOW! How did you feel when you found out?

I already knew the competition in IIC would be really strong and because It was the first time I entered, I had no legitimate expectations of being at the top, so, the surprise was greater. This was one of my top achievements of the previous years, for sure.

Just knowing that's the first time someone (outside of USA or Canada) won this trophy in 8 years, is another reason to be proud of.


Q5 – What advice would you give new entrants entering the International Imaging Competition?

As I mentioned before, I think it's important to take a look at the previous winners to understand if your images can fit in the competition. This will help in the selection of the images to enter.

An important thing when competing is to understand how to manage our expectations. It's ok to have ambition and want to be at the top, but we need to know how to live with the fact that, there are a lot of photographers running for the same, so, we could end up far from the top, as that is the most likely result to happen, and the only one that is guaranteed from the start. It's something that should make us learn and not discourage us.


Q6 – What can you say about the awards you received?  

It was cool to open the boxes of the trophies and see/touch them live. Everything looks very personal, from the card handwritten dedicated to us, the inscriptions of our name on all the trophies, and the exclusive design of the trophies. I like to pay attention to details in my work, that's why I value that in this competition. I already won some trophies in other competitions but nothing at this level. These trophies are different. They look amazing.


Q7 - What is your vision for your photographic path going forward? Would you change what you have been doing or continue your current path?

In terms of the content of the images, my goal is to create powerful images that can communicate and have an impact on the viewers. I think if I can create images that touch the public, that will always be one of my greatest victories.      

I always liked the perfection too. I try to achieve perfection in the finishing, paying a lot of attention to details.

I like to follow these premises, but if my way of thinking changes, it is synonymous with evolution. Let the changes be for something better, I'm open to that.

Q8 - What professional photographer/photographers have influenced your work and why?

I have had some references since my childhood, not related to photography but from art, like Salvador Dalí, René Magritte and mainly M.C.Escher. All of them were used to create their own worlds, based on optical illusion. And that´s the part I like.

From our days and related to photography, I'm not sure if I'm being influenced by them, but they are great references for me in their styles. They are:

Onni Wiljami Kinnunen – I love his style of finishing, the mood of the images and the concepts he creates for his images. His post-production is amazing.

Felix Hernandez – For me, he's the most amazing author developing the concepts and constructing all components around the image, like scenarios, objects, backgrounds, etc.

The whole process is amazing, like the final results.


Q9 – After all the excitement of winning POY in Fine Art and TOP Photographer of the Year, how did you feel when you learned you won the Silver Cup for your County?

It was amazing to win the Silver Cup for my country, I'm proud to see “Portugal” written in that trophy. It's even more special because Portugal it's a small country, so, receiving this distinction “against” much bigger countries is a reason to be proud.

Q10- Finally, is there anything else you would like to include or share with us?

Just congratulate the work you are doing by running a different photography competition with all of these levels of support and different features.


Thank you for the interview, I have included my links below. 

André Boto


My links:


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2 comments on article "Passing on the Title - MPI 8th Annual POY André Boto"

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Tula Edmunds

Congratulations Andre, thank you for the speaking on your work and experience. What an amazing accomplishment!

Tula Edmunds

MPI Co-Founder

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Tom Sergio

where do i enter and add my photographs

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