Huge news everyone! My PPA Loan Collection image “The Skeptic” appears as the cover of Professional Photographer Magazine‘s March 2016 Issue along side a featured article on my glamour and headshot photography! I am seriously on top of the world. If you had told me 5 years ago that I would one day have a cover image and featured story in one of the most respected national photography publications out there, I wouldn’t have believed you. To say this is surreal doesn’t begin to describe it. I can’t say enough what an honor this is and how thankful I am for Professional Photographers of America, who, alongside my local (TPPG) and state (FPP) organizations, have pushed me to grow as a photographer and to always be more.
If you are a PPA member you should expect to see this in your mailbox this week!
Read the full article here [PDF]
For the last three years, I have made it a goal to compete as much as possible. I’ve always been a bit of a competitive person, so I liked the idea of being able to compete against my peers, at first. But after my first year, I realized that I wasn’t competing against my peers at all. Each year, I was competing against myself. The first year I entered the Professional Photographers of America International Print Competition, I did really well for a first timer. I merited my entire case and one image was entered into the Loan Collection, which earned me a Silver Medal. The Loan Collection is considered the best of the best, so on top of receiving merits for all of my images that year, a loan image was a huge honor. The following year, I wanted so badly to do as well as I had done the year before. Meriting an image at all in this enormous competition would have been a big deal, but because I had done so well the first year, it was no longer good enough. Luckily, I was able to match the results from year one in year two! So now this brings us to year three.
Year three has by far been the best year. I actually attended the International Print Competition instead of watching from home. I went and took part in the PPA Judges Workshop and was able to actually be in the room while many of not only my images, but my friends’ images came across the panel. And when not in the rooms, I watched with other attendees, cheering as my friends and colleagues merited images. It was exciting. And we rooted for each other. It’s not a game of “who among us will win?” It’s everyone cheering for everyone else. It forces us to talk about our work. To really analyze what we are doing to create as artists and craftsman. It’s making all of us better at what we do. To say that my work has grown over the last three years is an understatement. Because I’ve pushed myself each year to do better than the year before, I have forced the level of my work to get better and better. I’m not finished learning. I don’t think that’s even possible. But what I guess I’m trying to say is, if you want to improve, if you want to learn what you don’t even know you don’t know yet, print competition is the way to do it.
So why do I compete? I’m still competitive so there’s always going to be that factor. But now, I compete for the camaraderie and because I always have to level up. This year I did better than I have before, Platinum Medal. This means I merited my whole case of four images and loaned three. I’ve set the bar incredibly high for next year, here’s hoping for a great IPC 2017!
Allison started her own business and was in need of Professional Branding Portraits and Headshots to suit her upcoming marketing needs. I was so excited to be able to do this for her! Allison and I used to work together back in the day. It’s always fun getting to catch up with old friends! Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to reconnect with some of my old colleagues. I can honestly say that one of the best parts about it is to see how freaking awesome they are doing. So many of my old office mates have gone out on their own and made it. Allison is no exception! Congratulations to her on her latest endeavor. Expect big things!
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Finally getting caught up where I have some time to experiment a little more. My old friend Eric Shepard came into town. We had lunch and caught up and had some time to spare. So I suggested we shoot on the blue wall before he had to head to his next appointment. Here’s a few from that series. I found out that Eric has two modes – super serious or uncontrollably smiling. Both work!
It’s summertime and what’s better than a studio maternity session in the air conditioning? I’ve already blogged Kim’s sweet baby boy’s newborn session, so now I’m getting to post her maternity session she did with her husband. We went with something casual and something a little more polished and I love them both! Here’s a few from her session.
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Jayme was excited when Henry announced that he his front top tooth was wiggly, but now the pressure was on to get family studio portraits made before that tooth came out! She called me and we set up a session at the studio for later that week so that we could capture him while he’s still little with his mom and his grandma, Mama K. It was a race to beat the tooth fairy and we won! Here are a few from their family portrait session at the studio.
Sweet Lilly turned one! I can’t believe it’s been a year since we did her newborn session. She’s still such a tiny delight to work with. Here’s a few from her 1st birthday session that we shot in the Chain of Parks in downtown Tallahassee. It was so hard to choose favorites!