MAPV has 3 judges each for the Nature and Photo Art categories, all are nationally or internationally known professional photographers. The Photo Art judges also judge the Student Competition. We try to recruit nature specialists for the Nature categories and generalists for Photo Art.

The judges are asked to score each image from 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest score. There are typically more than 800 entries in both Nature and Photo Art. The top 500 images are juried into the show. The number of entries juried in for each category is proportional to the number of entries in that category – so, for example, if 10% of all the images submitted (Nature plus Photo Art) are in the Birds category then 10% of the juried images are from Birds. The average cutoff score required for an image to be juried into the show is around 19.

Judges for Photo Art and Student Competitions

John Hoover

John Hoover began his career as a traditional black and white photographer and moved on to using a large format view camera for portrait, landscape and architectural image making.  With the evolution of digital cameras John incorporated the new technology into his work, particularly for travel and event photography. 

A shaping force in the development of John’s creative vision was the training he received in large format photography, which John credits as teaching him the patience and contemplation necessary to distill the essence and emotion of the world he sees through careful composition.  

For five years John worked as the Director of Photography at The Metropolitan Center for the Visual Arts (VisArts) a non-profit community arts center located in Rockville, Maryland, starting first as a volunteer and then moving into a full time paid position.  When John began working at VisArts the photography program consisted of a traditional darkroom facility staffed with volunteers and a handful of photography classes for adults.  From that starting point John worked diligently to expand the scope and capabilities of photography at VisArts. 

For his work at VisArts John was awarded the 2007 Excellence in the Arts and Humanities Award by the Montgomery County Arts and Humanities Council, recognizing the contributions he made in improving the Photography Department to the point of national recognition among professional photographers and industry specialists.

By forging partnerships with both corporate sponsors and professional photographers, John obtained donations of equipment and materials which enabled VisArts to outfit a professional shooting studio and offer state of the art digital printing capabilities. John expanded the photography educational program in part by organizing workshops and seminars led by internationally renowned photographers such as Bob Krist, Bruce Barnbaum and Joyce Tenneyson, thus further enriching the photo experience at VisArts.  John initiated an annual Photography Exhibition curated by Frank Goodyear of the National Portrait Gallery, and professional photographers Clay Blackmore, Eddie Tapp and others, which brought the work of aspiring photographers to the center. 

John also worked in partnership with Journey’s,  a local community program in Montgomery County that works with teens at risk.  The mission of the program was to build self-esteem through the creative art of photography.  John was also the lead photographer in the Leap Program, which was a collaboration with 4 other organizations and the mission was to working with teens who had been adopted. The other disciplines were dance, cooking and photography.

After serving for four years as an Adjunct Professor of Photography at Montgomery College in Rockville Maryland John transitioned into the position of Instructional Lab Coordinator for the Photo Program. 

The focus of his photography is Portraiture, Travel, and Architecture.

Marcie Kindred

Marcie Kindred is an artist and educator based in Nashville, TN with over 20 years of experience in the professional world of corporate and commercial photography. She is well-versed in studio and on location work where she has used her talents to partner with everyone from Fortune 500 companies to small mom and pop shops. Her clients range from Vanderbilt University, Northrop Grumman, and Tractor Supply Company to local businesses, design firms, hospitals, and nonprofits in the surrounding Nashville area.

She is equally versed in film and digital photography with an aesthetic strongly grounded by her formal education where she holds a BFA in photography and a second BFA in Art with an emphasis in graphic design. Marcie also holds a Master of Fine Arts (MFA Photography) from Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and began teaching on the college level in 2017.

Marcie is also a founding member of the Silver Water Collective, an all women collective with Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) in Photography that supports women in the niche field of photography. The purpose of the collective is to support women in the niche field of photography, to create community not confined by geography, background, or mindset, and to springboard ideas that motivate and encourage each other in our creative pursuits ( 

Growing up in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, Marcie has a longstanding relationship to the landscape. Photographing the natural world is a source of renewal and connection for Marcie, as well as an opportunity to explore the complexities of the sublime. Her contemporary take on the landscape unites multiple experiences of a single place, yielding a fractured perspective laden with coded and non-coded messages for the viewer to engage with and interpret through time, perception, and memory. When not behind the camera Marcie enjoys spending time with her husband and three kids in the great outdoors. 

Donovan Marks

I have been actively involved in photography for more than 30 years. In addition to my bachelor’s degree in Journalism, I have completed several study courses in photography, including an associates degree in photo editing from the International Photo College, the Nikon School, Focus on Photojournalism with the White House News Photographers’ Association, semesters at the Washington School of Photography and the Maine Photographic Workshop. I have also studied visual presentation in web design. I have completed courses in digital photography, digital image editing, Adobe Photoshop & Lightroom and digital workflow.

In my last full-time day job as head of photo operations at Washington National Cathedral, I was staff photographer and photo editor of Cathedral Age magazine. On a daily basis I covered Cathedral events as well as various other aspects of Cathedral life. I photographed products and prepared images for the Cathedral’s museum store catalog (print and on-line) and I photographed the buildings, grounds, furnishings, stained glass and other items for stock. I also made portraits of senior staff and other dignitaries. Some of the images have been used in “outside” publications such as Washingtonian magazine, the Washington Times and a number of books. I have won several awards starting with honorable mention and second place in the 1982 and 1983 U.S. Air Force photo contests and in April 2002 first place for magazine photography in Cathedral Age awarded by the Associated Church Press (ACP). I received a prestigious DeRose-Hinkhouse award for my photo documentation of the consecration of the newly appointed Bishop of Washington, and the legacy of his predecessor. In 2006 I won another first place for magazine photography from the ACP.

I have prepared several slide shows for the Cathedral’s development, promotion and outreach programs. For my last production, I was de facto project manager; I began by consulting with senior staff on concepts and objectives and ended with a favorable critique by the visiting regional chairs of the National Cathedral Association. I was photographer and art director for Living Stones, a coffee table book of photographs and essays commemorating the Cathedral’s centennial. I have also produced graphics items for several brochures exhibits, displays and booklets highlighting Cathedral programs and activities. I fielded requests for images from outside publications, preparing the necessary paperwork for granting usage rights and protecting the Cathedral’s intellectual property rights. I have also worked as a public relations associate for the Cathedral. I managed a pool of freelance photographers who are occasionally hired by the Cathedral.

I managed research and procurement for the Cathedral’s digital imaging equipment and facilities including cameras, scanners, servers, printers and related software. I managed the organization’s photo archives, one film-based and one digital. I was responsible for research and procurement of catalog software for the Cathedral’s electronic images and other digital media.

I photographed the first jazz concert series for Black Entertainment Television. The images were used on the DVD’s for Jeffrey Osborne, Chaka Khan, Bobby Womack, Lou Rawls and others.

I occasionally cover events on Capitol Hill for assignment and spec, including House and Senate Hearings. My inaugural photograph of the Obamas and the Bidens was featured in a profile of Dr. Jill Biden, which aired on CBS Sunday Morning, December 13, 2009. During the interview, she mentioned the photo as a personal favorite of hers.

For three years I sat on the board of directors of the Washington, DC Chapter of the American Society of Media Photographers. I am also a member of the White House News Photographers’ Association and the National Press Photographers Association.

I have taught photography at the Metropolitan Center for Visual Arts in Rockville, MD, Digital Photo Academy, based in New York, Howard Community College, and I am currently adjunct professor of photography at Montgomery College in Rockville, MD.

I have covered the following events:

  • Inauguration of Presidents Clinton, Bush II and Obama and managed/archived images for Washington National Cathedral
  • Department of Defense conferences, Era of Hope; breast cancer research program, August 2011 and Innovative Minds in Prostate Cancer Today, March 2011
  • For 8 years & currently, covered all events from St. Albans Boys School graduation over a 1-week period.
  • Conferences for US Department of Health & Human Services
  • Conferences and events for the SEC Historical Society, Washington, DC and NYC
  • For 10 years & currently, cover CEO Caucuses and Conferences for Yale School of Management, Washington, DC and NYC
  • Ongoing contracts to supply stock images for US Marine Corps and the IRS.

Nature Competition Judges

Janet Jeffers

Maryland-based photographer Janet Jeffers has been exploring the world with a camera for decades and has made art photography her full-time vocation since 2009. Informed by her background as an award-winning publications designer and interior designer, her photography hones in on details that are often overlooked, as her work explores intimate and abstract elements in the natural and manmade worlds. Her passion for nature and travel has taken her to locations across the globe, from Africa to Antarctica, but her inspiration comes from subjects even in her own backyard, approached with a sense of exploration and an open frame of mind. 

Janet’s work has been featured in exhibitions throughout the east coast, on book and magazine covers, in film and video, and in permanent installations for institutions and businesses such as the University of Maryland Medical System and Pharmaceutics International, Inc. She currently works from a studio in Baltimore’s historic Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower. In addition to creating, printing, and displaying her work for private sales, commissions, and large-scale installations such as wall and window murals, she is a sought-after judge and presenter for photography groups and camera clubs throughout the Baltimore-Washington area.

Marie Joabar

Having grown up in Detroit, Marie couldn’t wait to travel the country and explore beautiful places. After college, she hit the road and spent the next several years doing just that.  One of the most memorable things from that trip was her purchase of a “real camera” which marked the beginning of a rewarding journey of learning the craft of photography.

After a career change, Marie got back on the path to photography and began working at Penn Camera, the D.C. area’s leading camera retailer. She enjoyed working with the staff and customers at Penn for more than 12 years as the Corporate Trainer and Education Programs Manager.

Marie founded Capital Photography Center in January 2012 to help those with a love of photography improve their skills and reach their goals. To this end, her company offers a wide variety of photography classes where amateurs, hobbyists, and professionals can learn about the areas of photography suited to their interests and experience level.

As an instructor herself, she is passionate about sharing her knowledge of photography, cameras, and digital technology with others. She works to take away one’s intimidation or sense of overwhelming that often accompanies learning new things.

In addition to running her business and teaching, Marie finds time to enjoy her own photography and loves capturing country landscapes, people; both candid and posed, and dynamic cityscapes; especially at nighttime.  Her travels have given her the opportunity to photograph in Tuscany, Venice, London, New York, and various other locations in the United States.  

Marie has lived in Alexandria, Virginia for the past 30+ years with her husband. You can read more about Marie at and

Kristi Odom

Kristi Odom is an internationally acclaimed photographer, a Nikon Ambassador, and a motivational speaker.  A photographer and filmmaker, her work focuses on connecting people emotionally to animals and celebrating those who have a connection to the natural world. When she is not at home in Longmont Colorado, she travels the world photographing and leading workshops all around the world. Kristi teaches photographers to improve their work through advanced camera skills and by creating an emotional connection with their subjects.  Her accolades include over 60 international photography awards including 2 of Nature’s Best Photography awards, which exhibited her images at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.  She also was included in National Geographic’s 2021 collection for Best Animal Photos.  Her work has appeared either online and/or in print for the following clients: National Geographic, Nikon, Forbes, Rollingstone, Microsoft, and Outside Mag. 

You can find out more about Kristi on her website: