This past year has been somewhat surreal. It all started one year ago when I entered a handful of images into a competition. This competition was part of a conference I was attending for high school senior photographers. I walked away from that conference with 5 merits, 3 First Place finishes, a Second Place finish, Best of Show and Senior Photographer of the Year! I was shocked and humbled with all the awards and to be honest, one year later, I'm still not sure that it has all sunk in.
After returning from SYNC, I entered my 4 top scoring images into PPA's District Competition. All 4 images merited.
The awards that I won at SYNC were followed by a 3rd place finish at another photography conference, Shutterfest, and first place for the best photo taken during the conference. That win came with some pretty sweet prizes!
The next step after District was the International Photographic Competition, IPC. I moved my 4 images from the District competition to the IPC. All 4 images received a merit with 1 image going Loan. My score on the Loan image placed it as one of the top 10 images in the senior category, top 100 overall, which made it elegible for a Grand Imaging Award. This past Monday night I attended the GIA award ceremony in Atlanta, Georgia. Held during ImagingUSA, PPA's yearly photography conference, I received a Grand Imaging Award for my portrait titled Lilly.
I have friends who consistently tell me that I need to market my achievements more. Publishing and talking about the recognition I have received this past year is not easy. I never want to come across as being arrogant or boastful. This year has been very humbling. I am proud of my accomplishments as I've worked hard for them. But I also look at all of my work with a very critical eye and there are few days that I feel worthy of all that this past year has brought.
Winning a GIA is a pretty big deal and I am so thankful for this recognition. While I am my own worst critic, I am very happy with this particular work of art and winning this week has left me hungry for more! I have ideas in my head and will soon begin work on what I hope will become this year's entries. I would be remiss in not taking this opportunity to publicly thank Lilly! She patiently endured hours in front of my camera waiting for me to capture what I felt was the perfect expression. At one point I am pretty sure she fell asleep, standing in front of my camera, as I wrapped her body in itchy material! Lilly, I could not have done this with without you!! Get ready for round two!