PPA National Award Recipient: Gabriel Alonso

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By Steve Kozak

The inscription on this coveted award simply reads, “For meritorious contributions to professional photography.” The words are few, but the meaning is deeper than any words can express. This year, the Texas Professional Photographers Association is proud to present the PPA National Award to Gabriel Alonso.

The quest for excellence in the photographic profession is largely limited to a few who are driven to invest the time, study and practice into growing their craft. Even fewer are willing to take the fruits of their labors and give back to an entire industry that they love. TPPA’s latest recipient of the PPA National Award is one of those individuals.

In a world where many of today’s young photographers fail to see the value of belonging to an association, 2024 marks Gabriel Alonso’s 40th year as a member of TPPA. What these young photographers miss is that it is not just what you get out of your membership, it is also what you can give back. TPPA has been fortunate to be on the receiving end of Gabriel’s time and talent on more occasions than we can count.

Gabriel achieved PPA Approved Juror status and served for more than 20 years, and yet, still found time to serve TPPA countless times as a juror for our own image competition. He is always ready to provide insightful critiques for competitors entering photographic competition. He has also presented programs at many TPPA events and at every guild in Texas, not to mention others across the country and internationally. Gabriel also served as a member of the Board of Directors for TPPA and as a PPA Councilor. He has been recognized with the Full Fellowship from TPPA.

Of course, Gabriel’s pursuit of excellence extends beyond TPPA. He is a Master Photographer, Photographic Craftsman, a Certified Professional Photographer, and a Fellow of the American Society of Photographers. You can read about so many more of the accomplishments on Gabriel’s website but, with this prestigious award, we honor him for his service. His guidance and mentorship transformed many TPPA Members from someone who used to simply take pictures into someone with a true understanding of what it means to be a photographic artist.

Along with his photographic achievements, Gabriel is also known to many as the lead guitarist and vocalist of Texas School’s instructor band, Bad Exposure. When he is not running around the Hill Country around his home in Kerrville, he masquerades as “Inigo Montoya, looking for the man who….” well, you know the rest. Today, we simply call him TPPA’s newest PPA National Award recipient.

Presenting the National Award to Gabriel was the 2023 recipient, Robert Norwood of Livingston, Texas. So, to a dedicated individual who has truly earned his place with TPPA as well as the entire photographic profession, we say, “Congratulations!”