CVCC’s cinematographer’s work showcased internationally


HICKORY — A photograph created by Catawba Valley Community College Director of Photography Joe Young was recently accepted into the Imaging Excellence Collection of Professional Photographers of America’s 2022 International Photographic Competition.

Young’s work will be exhibited at the upcoming Imaging USA, to be held January 22-24, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. Imaging USA is one of the largest annual conventions and exhibitions for professional photographers.

“I’ve been a photographer for over 20 years and taught photography for 18 years, and I’ve earned multiple degrees in photography, but that doesn’t mean I should ever stop learning,” Young said. “Professional Photographers of America has been that lifelong learning for me. Participating in PPA’s international print competition pushed my technical and creative skills. One of my images receiving Imaging Excellence is the result of years of perseverance in the lifelong learning that I encourage in any photographer.

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A panel of 36 jurors from across the United States selected the best photographs from more than 5,000 entries submitted to PPA headquarters in Atlanta.

Judged against a standard of excellence, 1,926 images were selected for the Merit Collection and 1,225 (approximately 24%) were selected for the prestigious Imaging Excellence Collection – the best of the best.

Images from the Imaging Excellence Collection will all be published in Marathon Press’s “Excellence Collection” book.

Titled “Roping in Tourist,” Young’s photograph will be featured at the International Photographic Exhibition, alongside other leading photographic works from the contest, traveling and special invitational exhibitions. These images constitute one of the largest annual exhibitions of professional photography in the world gathered in one place.

Young adds his PPA honor to a list of photographic accomplishments throughout his career, including previous honors from the Mooresville Artist Guild, Appalachian Mountain Photography Exhibit, Duke University, Catawba County United Arts Council, Wildlife North Carolina Photography and North Carolina Press Association.

For more information about photography classes at Catawba Valley Community College, contact Young at [email protected] or call 828-327-7000 ext. 4467 or visit

Founded in 1868, Professional Photographers of America is the largest and oldest nonprofit photography trade association. It currently helps 30,000 professionals elevate their craft and grow their business with resources, protection and education, all under PPA’s core guiding principle of bridging the gap between photographers and consumers.

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