I got a bit burnt out at the end of last year and took some time off from entering competitions. I was fed up with the lack of quality judging and decided I needed to rethink whether or not I wanted to put myself through it anymore. Mentally, I just wasn't into it and needed to regroup and recharge. After distancing myself a little bit, I came to the realization that although the judging quality had been poor, I had also gotten too used to winning and slacked off a bit when it came to my entries. Revitalized and re-focused after the "off-season", I decided to get back in the game and enter some images. Well, I guess the "mental health day" paid off, because I had the good fortune of doing extremely well in the CT Professional Photographers print competition last night with the following 3 images.
This first image titled "Sweet Escape" took Best In Show.
This second image titled "Love in an Elevator" took 1st place...
And this 3rd image titled "Are we done yet?" originally took 2nd place, but after a judges debate..2 points were taken off for the vignette and skin texture. Ugh!! I may correct the issues and see how it does next time.
Not bad! Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come this year in competition. Just an example of walking away when you get frustrated and coming back to it with a clearer head. As artists, we have an emotional attachment to the images or works that we create. That is a wonderful thing, but it can also cause us to overlook minor flaws or imperfections. Walking away and coming back allows us to see things through different eyes.
It can also work in reverse. As photographers, we have so many images to process and the workload so massive...that we can fly right by an outstanding image during the editing process. This was actually one of those times. Typically, when I come across images that I think may be competition worthy..I will put them in a separate folder appropriately named "Composs". Then when it comes time to enter, I will go through and find a few that I think have a good shot. Well, like I said...I got a bit burnt out and went through a phase where I just felt my stuff was crap! I didn't really put anything into the "Composs folder". With a clearer head and new eyes, I decided to go back through and see if there were any images that I forgot to add. That is when I came across the image of this little girl. A simple shot that I grabbed when I was moving through Alexis & Dave's wedding ceremony. As most children are during a wedding ceremony or religious ceremony, this little girl was bored out of her gourd and couldn't wait for it to be over so she could get to the party. I always liked this shot, but when it comes to competition or images I feature, I tend to go with images from what I call "The Masterpiece series". Images I "created" instead of images that in my opinion...were handed to me on a platter. This is just one part of what I love about my profession within the world of photography. There are so many facets to it. And you have to be good at many things to be a great wedding photographer. You need to have creativity and artistic vision, but you also have to have perfect timing, acute awareness, and the ability to see the extraordinary within the ordinary. Then you need to know what to do with it. I hope this inspires and helps someone to break through the creative barrier and try to see things from a slightly different angle. The things that are closest to our face, are usually the ones that are the most out of focus to us.