Print competitions are hard for me. Truth be told, submitting my images feels like I am sending my children to war.
But I do it anyway, because this is the best way to improve and grow as a photographer. And because I am working on my Master Photographer degree, and this is the way to earn it.
Think about it: The best photographers in the world sit and stare at your photograph, dissecting it, discussing it with the other judges – and come to a conclusion if your photograph is worthy of a merit or not.
During this process I can get so much educational information as to what are the strongpoints of the image I created and what needs improving.
This year I realized I am one of these photographers who cannot watch the judging live. You know the sport fans that lose their minds when their team doesn’t win? Yup, this girl right here behaves the same when her image doesn’t merit. 🤦♀️👈
From yelling at my screen and calling the judges names their mama didn’t give them, to having my own personal a pity party (lots of tears and tissues included) for the rest of the day – it is definitely not a good experience for me.
Lucky for me, the judges image reviews are made available for us after the fact, and yes, when I calm down – I can actually hear what the judges are saying and, like I said – grow and improve as a photographer.
Even the preparation work to submit an image to print competition is grueling. I always find a mentor, a Master Photographer who has submitted many images to competition before, to guide me as I prep my images to submission. I do that because most of the time I have no idea how to improve the image. But through the eyes of my mentor I can tweak and improve my images before submitting the final 4 to the International Print Competition (IPC).
This year I was on a road trip when IPC judging took place. Knowing my anger management issues this competition brings up in me I silenced my competition notifications, and drove in bliss, enjoying the fresh air and change of scenery. 😊🙏
When I got to a truck stop I checked my email, and low and behold – turns out that while I was driving 3 of my images were judged – and merited!!! 3 out of 4!!! I was so excited, I had to get out of the car and have myself a little happy dance. Not sure what the truckers thought of what was going on, but it felt great!
Here is my middle of nowhere gas station merit happy dance:
I am so honored, excited and proud to present my three images that merited in the 2020International Print Competition!
As well as the 4th image I submitted that didn’t merit because the judges are***** and *** **** .
I am, of course, kidding. 😜
I’m sure the judges had a good reason why it didn’t merit, and looking forward to receiving the recorded critique from them to learn why
This is the first image, titled "Music Maestro Please!"
I came up with the idea for the concept when one of my past beloved wedding clients, Iva, posted an update on Facebook that her son Daniel started playing the violin. Daniel was the perfect model and did a great job following directions, such a great little actor! Thank you Daniel 💗
This is the second image, titled "Comfortable in my own skin"
This portrait was not planned. My beautiful assistant Kennedy was helping me on a photoshoot day and I asked her to sit for me. Current events were on my mind when I titled the photo, and I chose this title with the hope to empower and add a positive point of view. Thank you Kennedy 💖
This is the third image, titled "The motion of elegance"
I had the vision for this portrait for the past couple of years, and waited for the stars to align and it was the right time to create it. I knew the time has come when I met Skylar. The beautiful and talented Skylar was the perfect choice to model for this portrait concept. Skylar and I connect in a way that makes creating an image like this so easy and fun because we are perfectly aligned on the same creative Braine wave. I videoed Skyler's reaction the first time she saw the finished portrait. Her shock and awe is priceless, I'll share the video soon. Thank you Skylar! 💖
This is the last image I submitted and my one image that did not merit in the 2020 International Print Competition. It is also my favorite one of the four images submitted. ⠀
This image is titled "Battelled with the devil". ⠀
The inspiration for this concept started when I found my grandfather's hat in the back of a closet. Since Daniel was coming in to model with his violin, I knew I wanted to capture a "street kid violin player" concept. ⠀⠀
When I lived in Russia I captured an image of a real street kid violin player on the streets of Moscow, and that was the inspiration for this portrait. ⠀⠀
I can't say why this image did not merit, I'm sure the judges had a good reason, but for me this portrait is a winner. I absolutely love it. Daniel did such an amazing job getting into character, and we enjoyed every minute of bringing the street kid violin player character to life. ⠀
Thank you Daniel! 💖⠀
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