Our Leadership Team
The World Photographic Cup is governed by an international committee supported by FEP, PPA, AIPP and UAPP and formed by the following 8 members: Bert Behnke (USA), Jean-Félix Bernetel (France), Neil Warner (Ireland), Don Dickson (USA), Kylie Lyons (Australia), Don MacGregor (Canada), Bent Nygaard-Larsen (Denmark) and Noboru Okamoto (Japan), plus Giuseppe Scozzi (Italy) as the CEO, David Trust (USA) as Chief Auditor and Jørgen Brandt (Denmark) as Chairman of the Judging Commitee. We like to introduce the WPC committee members (in alphabetic order):
Bert Behnke, Master of Photography; Photographic Craftsman.; Honorary Master of Photography.CPP (PPA)
Bert Behnke owns Behnke Photographers, a studio established in 1956 by Bert’s parents, along with his wife Cindy. He has won numerous awards in salon print competitions as well as serving his professional associations. Bert has taught or lectured on photography all across the USA and North America as well as in Europe, South America and Asia.
Bert is a past president of the Professional Photographers of America (PPA), the Associated Professional Photographers of Illinois (APPI), the Frankfort (IL) Chamber of Commerce, as well as a Past President of the World Council of Professional Photographers (WCPP). He also was the founder of PPA Charities and is currently its Executive Director as well as a member of the World Photographic Cup organizing Committee.
Awards & Honors
Bert has been awarded the Master of Photography, Photographic Craftsman and Honorary Master of Photography degrees from PPA as well as the National Award from his state affiliate. He was honored as Portrait Photographer of the Year from the International Photographic Council, a non-profit branch of the United Nations. He is a PPA Affiliated Judge and an Honorary Fellow of APP of Illinois.
Most recently, Bert has been one of the 35 mentors for the popular AfterDark series of hands on training conferences held throughout the United States as well as Sandy Puc’s Hands-On Tours.
Jean Felix Bernetel
“I started practicing photography with my father when I was very young. I was fascinated by his Rolleiflex and thought one day I will be a photographer. This passion brings me to organize the first photo club in my school at 14 years old.
After law studies at university I became a professional photographer very late at 35. I worked in a photography shop for 5 years and started to work on my own after that experience.
Immediately I became member of my national association , the GNPP, where I learned the job by strong workshops. I have been graduate “Portraitiste de France” in 2008.
In 2009 I joined FEP to represent my national association. In 2011 I became a QEP in the Federation of European Professional Photographers.
I have been the FEP vice president since 2014 and I am the current president of GNPP, the French national association.”
At the age of twelve, Don received his first medium format camera as a gift from his grandmother after a visit to China. This created a love for photography that has lasted a lifetime. His senior year in high school, Don photographed and published his first church directory. His first prom to photograph was his own senior prom. After going off to college to get a degree in business, he opened Don’s Photography Studio at the age of 20. Dickson said “I look back now and wonder what was I thinking, both my parents were school teachers and I had never heard of a trade association. All that I knew about photography and the business of running a studio, I learned on my own.” It was that first year in business that a friend invited him to a Texas Professional Photography Association convention. That first convention led Dickson to a lifetime of association work.
He received his Master of Photography degree from PPA in 1988, the youngest recipient at that time in the state. He was also the youngest President of the Texas Professional Photographers association, the largest PPA affiliate in the country.
His love of education was expanded when he joined the staff of the Texas School of Professional Photography as registrar in 1990. After working as registrar for 5 years, he was elected as the executive director, a position that he still holds today. He has developed the Texas School from around 140 students to over 1000 in 2012. Dickson continues to claim, “Photography education is critical in our ever changing industry, the only way to get ahead and prosper is to continue to learn and study what the new technology has to offer. This is the most exciting time our industry has ever seen.”
After serving with the Winona Trustees and PPA education committee, he was elected to the board of directors in January of 2005, serving as President in 2011. He is respected in the entire industry as a leader in the education field. Don received the Garhart Bahker award in New Orleans at Imaging USA in 2005. This award is PPA’s highest award for excellence in Education. His love and passion for photography shows in all the aspects of his life. He has been married to his wife Charlcey for 33 years and has two children, Kyle and Suzanne.
Kylie Lyons has been a professional photographer for over 21 years operating her small boutique studio in Sydney Australia photographing weddings/portraits and commercial assignments.
Kylie graduated from the University of Western Sydney in 1994 with a Bachelor of Arts in Design – majoring in Photomedia. She began work before graduating at a North Sydney based Pre Press Bureau where it was her job to put together the photography department. The work was purely commercial based and concentrated on products and packaging, all the while working in the background on her own wedding photography business.
In the year 2000 Kylie decided to take the plunge and become self employed as a wedding photographer. With her husband Peter they purchased a church built in 1884 and called it “The Old St Thomas Chapel” thus creating a unique niche market with their heritage wedding Chapel – The only one of its kind in Sydney. Still concentrating on mainly weddings Kylie’s photography business started to grow into the portrait market as previous clients began to have families.
Today Kylie concentrates more on commercial assignments again, enjoying the freedom of all genres of photography that come through her door. She is known for her food photography and shoots regularly for local magazines, she is also concentrating on a series of art inspired portraits.
Kylie joined the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) in late 1999. Immediately she volunteered her services to the New South Wales (NSW) State Council to be their newsletter editor. This resulted in a position being offered on the Council – which she held for 10 years, the last 5 being in the office of NSW State President.
In 2010 Kylie volunteered her services to the National AIPP Board and took up the role of Vice President. Working with an active team much change was brought to the Institute including the organization of a new annual conference, Folio assessments for membership entry and a Continuing Professional Development program to name just a few. In 2012 Kylie was elected as the National AIPP President and set about streamlining the Australian Awards system. Introducing a new judging system wholly owned by the AIPP and seeing membership numbers jump to new all time highs.
In July this year Kylie retired from the role of National President and is now sitting in the role of National Chairman her plans are to look at the governance issues of the institute and bring about consolidation as required over the next 12-24 months.
Kylie is a Master of Photography with 1 gold bar with the AIPP, and most recently achieved a Master of Photography with NZIPP – The New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography. She has won many silver and gold awards and have also achieved NSW AIPP Portrait Photographer of the year 2000 and NSW AIPP Open Category winner 2009.
She is a valued state, National and International judge and panel chair and has a very unique understanding of the Australasian awards judging system. She has lectured both in Australia and New Zealand and has been part of the AIPP Mentoring Program helping up and coming photographers in the business of running a photography studio.
Kylie and Peter have a daughter Alexandra and a long haired Chihuahua dog Monty. They live in the same town Kylie was born and bred in – Camden, located one hour drive south west of Sydney CBD. They are currently renovating their house to create a gallery to hang all of Kylie’s purchased and acquired photographic artwork. Not to mention adding a wine cellar!
MacGregor Studios started in 1974. The studio has grown from a humble beginning in an apartment to a 500 sq ft store front and finally to a 3500 sq foot building in Vancouver. The studio has gone through several changes over the years. Wedding photography has comprised approx. 40% of the studio business and has been consistent over the years. Graduation portraits were a foundation in the 70’s and 80’s. The 90’s saw a dramatic focus on Lifestyle family and wall portraiture which now comprises almost 70% of the studios sales. The studio focuses on wall portrait and wedding work only and low volume.
Degrees and Awards:
Professional Photographers of Canada Master of Photographic Arts (13 Bars
Service Of Photographic Arts Honorary Life Member
National Award for Service Qualified Judge
Professional Photographers of BC Honorary Life Member
Associate Degree (only five presented in 60 yrs)
Professional Photographers of America Master Photographer (14 bars)
Approved PPA Photographic Instructor
Ross Sandahl International Award
Member: Cameracraftsman of America
Past President: Professional Photographers of Canada
Director: Professional Photographers of America (Board of Directors)
Salon Awards (PPOC, Western States, PPABC, PPA)
The awards podium has been visited virtually every year since obtaining membership. Best of class, Gallery, Epcot, Fuji and aggregate awards in almost every portrait and wedding class and in many cases the awards have been received numerous times (ie wedding album awards more than ten times, portrait of a Women … 7 times and the list continues etc.)
Don has taught over 40 week long classes for PPA Affilliate schools.
Highlights of Presentation Experience
- Photoworld 2003 (Manila, Philippines)
- PPA China Tour 2010
- PP New Zealand
- Texas School of Professional Photography, 1993, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 2000, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13
- Mars School
- East Coast School
- Imaging Workshops of Colorado
- Professional Photographers Society of New York 2003/2004/07/08
- New England School NEIPP 20,022,003,200,720,000,000
- PPANE 2001
- Kansas School 2002
- Golden Gate School 2001
- Mid America School 1999,2000
- Triangle Institute 2001,2002
- International Wall Portrait Conference mid 1980’s through 2013
- Masters Tour Canada 1997
- Image Explorations 2000-2011
- Canadian and American National conventions as well as PPA Marketing Conference
Bent Nygaard Larsen is a skilled photographer in 1981 and worked as a commercial photographer for several years before he joined one of the world’s largest photographic companies Kodak, as a technical sales representative. He was educated with in chemistry process control and digital photography and had responsibility for portrait, advertising, fashion, media and industrial photographers.
In 1991 Fujifilm subsidiary in Denmark and Bent was head huntet from Kodak to Fuji and was thereby contributed to structure the photographic professional market in Denmark. As key account manager and later sales manager Bent was responsible for analog, digital photo and print on the Danish market by various professional wholesalers. After a time as a marketing manager in the car industry, came Bent back to the photo industry in 2009, this time as ceo for dff / Dansk Fotografisk Forening (dppa / the Danish Professional Photographers Association). dff (dppa) is one of the world’s oldest, from 1879, industry, network and umbrella organization for professional photographers in Denmark. dff provide a whole hearted effort in information, education and networking for our members in all branches of the photographic industry. Bent constantly working to improve the conditions of professional photographers and maintain copyright and additional training for photographers and is very artiv on several boards, both nationally and internationally.
Neil Warner is a corporate photographer living in Ireland. He is a council member and past president of The irish professional photographers association.
He holds fellowships from the British Institute of professional photographers, The Master Photographers Association and the Irish Professional Photographers Association. He was the first Irish Photographer to be awarded Craftsman status. He was irish professional photographer of the year on three occasions and was British Overseas Advertising photographer of the year.
He was The thirteenth photographer to achieve Master qep status .
Neil has a background in marketing and received his Mmii at University College Galway. He also holds a diploma in digital marketing.
Neil has served a as member of the EU regio stars awards council.
Currently he is chairman of the FEP Video awards judges.
His work has brought him from St Petersburg in Russia to San Diego in the United States.
- 1958 Born in Osaka Japan
- 1983 Graduated Kwansei Gakuin University Japan
- B.A. in Business Administration
- 1986 Graduated Brooks Institute U.S.A.
- B.A. in Professional Photography Portrait and Color technology
- Awarded Merit of Excellence from Portrait Department
- 1995 Photo Exhibition at Embassy of the Russian Federation in Japan
- 1996 Selected Art Collection of Kwanseigakuin University Library Japan
- 1997 Photo Exhibition at Sogo Art gallery Japan
- Professional Photo seminar at Korea and China
- 2004 Professional Photo seminar at China
- 2009 Professional Photo seminar WPPI JAPAN
- 2010 Professional Photo seminar at China
Owner Photographer OKAMOTO STUDIO CORPRATION. Studio established 1902
My great grandfather established our studio 1902.
I have been interested in photography since before I was born.
Professional Photo seminar at over Japan every year since 1987.
Introduced by Japanese Domestic TV, Radio, and Magazines.
Vice president Professional Photographers of Japan
He was born in Rome, Italy, where he got a degree in arts and literature and where he still lives with his family.
Based on previous journalistic experience, he became the Secretary of the Italian Photographers Association (SIAF-CNA) in 1989, an office held until 2009.
Among others, Giuseppe has been instigator and coordinator of the project “Orvieto Fotografia”, born in 1999, serving as the Director of the event up to 2006.
On an international level, since 1994 up to 2016, he served as the Secretary General of the FEP, the Federation of European Professional Photographers, becoming FEP Chief Executive Officer in 2008, following a change of the constitution.
In 2013, it has been elected by the governing committee the CEO of the World Photographic Cup project.
He currently speaks 4 languages (Italian, French, Spanish and English). He loves photography, music and sports.
Since taking over as CEO of Professional Photographers of America, David Trust has helped lead the world’s largest photographic association to its most successful years in 134+ year history. However, David wasn’t always an association executive. He spent 11 years in television news as a reporter and anchor – most of his work in hard news and investigative reporting. He successfully transitioned that career by making the leap into marketing, eventually heading up corporate marketing for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. David joined PPA as its first Director of Marketing in 1998, and took the helm as CEO just a little more than a year later in 1999. Leading what he calls the “best association staff in America,” PPA has since set numerous records for membership growth, attendance at Imaging USA, and Professional Photographer Magazine circulation. In 2000, David led PPA into the fight for photographer’s rights on Capitol Hill as a founding member of the Copyright Alliance. He is a regular presence in Washington, D.C. and has been called on to testify before Congress in defense of photographers on multiple occasions. In addition to marketing topics, David is a proponent of leadership development and speaks around the country on leadership issues.
“To me photography is both a lifestyle and a business. Personalities are most often my subject – and the dialogue with the subject in question I find fascinating. I make images of single person, groups, weddings, families, NUDEart etc I also do a lot of my own Fine Art work for exhibitions.”
Jørgen gained his first Fellowship in the Danish version of BIPP – DFF – in 2008. The year after he became a Master QEP in the Federation of European Professional Photographers, where he is also elected President 2012-2014
He received his Fellowship with the BIPP in Visual Arts in 2012
Studio owner, Craft Photographic Gallery, Studio established 1979
Years in photography: 33 years
Portrait Photographer Family, Children, Seniors, Weddings Commercial, Underclass and Events
PPA Master of Photography, 1991
PPA Craftsman Degree
1993 PPA Board of Directors
ASP- Fellowship, 1997
Currently Chairman of the Photographic Exhibition Committee Dennis Craft runs a successful portrait studio in the historic town of Marshall, Michigan. His work includes many photographic areas, but he is best known for his imaginative children’s photography.
A Michigan Top-Ten photographer twelve times, Many of his merit prints have been selected into the International Loan Collection. Craft was named Photographer of the Year in Michigan in 1992 and 1996. He received his Master of Photography Degree in 1991 and Photographic Craftsman Degree in 1993 from the Professional Photographers of America. In 1997 he was awarded the Fellowship Degree from the American Society of Photographers.
Studio owner ‘Fotostudio De Loft’ in Boom, Belgium.
Studio established in 1978.
My professional career started about 36 years ago as a wedding and portrait photographer . During all these years I worked in many fields of professional photography such as food-, advertising-, reportage-, event-, and portrait photography. Today I specialize in Portrait photography in studio. I am very active in the “Belgian National Association of Professional Photographers” . This organization works for the protection of the legal rights and education of its members. We also organize competitions and expositions in Belgium and abroad.
Runs a studio in commercial and portrait photography in Slovakia. Martin says about his work: In 2007 I was elected president of this association and in this function I am also involved in the FEP, the “Federation of European Photographers”. The Photographers associations of 30 European countries are member of FEP. These international contacts give me a much wider look on professional photography in all European countries, where the differences in culture affect the photographic interpretation in a very important way.
Born in 1971 in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Awarded the prestigious Master QEP by FEP and “The Leadership Award” in the field of portrait photography, by the International Photography Council which operates under UN auspices, both in 2010.
The Master Qualified European Photographer – “Master QEP” award is the highest recognition given by the Federation of European Professional Photographers (FEP). Over the years, only 38 European photographers have received this award.
Since 2008, president of the Slovak Association of Professional Photographers SR (APFSR).
Member of the Master QEP and QEP jury since 2009.
Chairman of the jury of FEP’s European Fine Art Photograph of the Year Award in 2011.
Lectures and exhibits his work internationally at photographic forums and congresses such as France, Ireland, Italy, Hungary, Austria, Slovakia, Denmark.
Runs a studio in commercial and portrait photography in Slovakia.
Martin says about his work: “The most important inspiration for me has always been the power and the magic of light. I learned the true meaning of the word photography as literally the drawing of light. Ever since this intimate discovery I have seen and see the light. Everywhere. All 24 hours of it. I always see nature’s astounding and beautiful existence clothed in its infinite wardrobe of lighting.
In the beginning I could not afford professional lighting equipment so I was forced to create my own, which I still use and prefer. It changed my vision of the world around me, allowing me to perceive so many things which are normally invisible to our biological perceptions. Truths hiding just out of sight. New visions, new versions of reality which nature teases us to discover so that we can be witnesses to the infinities of perception and existence.
After what seems like an era of advertising and artistic photography, the door to Feng Shui and its magic world of ‘seeing energy’ opened for me. It is here that I find myself now. Adding to the forces of light, the invisible but more encompassing forces of living energies. Energies which create and are created by light, shadow, and life itself.”