Skip to main content

Finally, I can call myself an Award Winning Photographer

 
It is with immense pride that I am sharing with you my experiences over the past week.  As many of you already know each year I attend a photographic convention organised by the Societies, this year being my 8th in a row.  It is through this convention that I have made incredible friendships, learned vast amounts of knowledge pertaining to all facets of my career and gained extensive inspiration that has brought me to where I am today.  And now, after 8 years of working towards this achievement I can finally say I was successful and more so than I ever could have imagined. 

 
I not only walked away with 4 merits from the 20x16 print competition which was judged earlier in the week, but I also received the awards of Pet Photographer of the Year as well as Portrait Studio Photographer of the Year and rounded up the evening taking 2nd place for the Overall Photographer of the year.  With nearly 14000 images entered throughout the year by photographers from around the world I consider this to be an incredible achievement and one that I will never forget. 

(by the way, that's Maggie Philbin there - she hosted the evening)
 
 (here I am with 3 of my favourite people from the Societies)

The week began with the 20x16 print competition which I eagerly sat through in its entirety to see my images be judged by a rotating panel of 5 judges from a pool of 22 highly esteemed photographers from around the world.  I didn't anticipate just how nerve wracking it would be but how thrilling at the same time.

(this is an picture of one of my merit images being judged)
 

In this competition I choose to enter 7 images and was fortunate to receive merits for 4 of those images, one receiving a score of 85 which I was thrilled with given the highest score given amongst the 574 images submitted was 88.


(Me sharing my second win with my great friend, Bev)

Then came the awards night which is honestly a night I will never forget and comes in as one of the best days of my life, second only to the day my daughter was born.  The buzz and excitement throughout the evening was incredibly.  I already knew that even if I didn't win I was still having a great time as often the anticipation is half the fun.  But thankfully I did get the experience of a lifetime when my name was called out not once but 3 times.  I will never forget the feeling of hearing my name called out and the cheers and clapping that quickly followed.  Then walking up to the stage and seeing the crowd full of my dear friends, many standing and waiting for me to walk by.  Winning these awards would not have meant nearly as much had I not had everyone with me to enjoy the moment.

(This is Adrian Henson.  We each won 3 awards that night.  Our table was awesome!)

And in true Oscar form, I'd like to take a minute to thank all those who've been there for me over the years as without them I not only wouldn't be doing what I'm doing today but I also wouldn't be having nearly as much fun.  So here it goes (with great fear that I will be missing someone). 

First, to all those within the Societies without whom none of this would have happened.  Phil, Juliet, Terrie, Colin, Ben and the rest of your lovely family thank you for organising such a great event and making us feel apart of your family. 

Second, to my wonderful photographer friends.  Faye and Trevor Yerbury, thank you for all your inspiration over the years as well as always being ever so helpful whenever I've wanted feedback or advice.  To Bev and Barrie Downie for being great friends and companions throughout so many conventions.  To Jon Jenkins and Richie Walton, thank you for all your support and encouragement.  You've made me want to keep trying year after year.  To Susan Renee whom I missed dearly this year.  You've been such a good friend and help ever since the first convention all those years ago.  To Dennis Orchard for all your advice and companionship over the past couple of years.  I'm so glad I got to share that trip to Malta with you.  To John Baikie for being my good luck charm and companion on the night as I nervously awaited the results.  And to Island Dave, the glue that holds us all together, always a pleasure to see you.  The convention wouldn't be the same without you.  A big thank you to all my many great friends, both new and not so new (didn't want to use the term old) whom I look forward to seeing each and every year.  I already can't wait until next year. 

And finally to my wonderful husband Andy who made my night even better when he told me he actually had tears in his eyes as my name was announced (for anyone who knows Andy that sort of thing NEVER happens). Without your patience and tolerance of what can sometimes be a very difficult profession none of this would have ever been possible.  I am so glad I could share that night with you. 


Here are the winning images:
 Portrait Studio Photographer of the Year & Overall 2nd Place Photographer of the Year


Pet Portrait Photographer of the Year
 
Now lets see what 2014 brings!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Its a Dog's Life

When life gets tough I always look at dogs or my cats and think how lucky they are. I know not all are treated well but those lucky enough to be in a good home, like the ones who come into my studio, have a really great life. They look so happy and its a wonderful thing to see. 

I honestly love photographing dogs. They are a joy to work with and its almost impossible to produce a bad portrait of a dog which does of course make my life a little easier. I am someone who really needs to love the work I create. I can't help but love the portraits I've created of all the dogs I've photographed over the years. And this shoot was certainly no exception.


I found it a real pleasure using a lighter background this time too. I do often gravitate towards darker looks but seeing as this dog had a light coloured coat I thought I'd produce lighter images. This gave me the chance to use a canvas I painted a couple of years ago but never really used and I absolutely love it now. I don…

My First London Fashion Shoot

Well I finally did it. I bit the bullet and faced my fears and headed to London with a good friend, Mr. Panikos Hajistilly to do my first location shoot. We chose our locations together and Panikos organised a model and brought so much of his gear which he kindly shared with me. And probably most importantly, he showed me how it's done.


I was so surprised to see just how much wonderful light was there, just waiting to be used. I am a studio photographer and while I understand the use of studio flash very well, I am very much out of practice and out of my comfort zone with using available light. Its one thing to place lights and backdrops around my subject in the comfort of my studio. Its very different to find the right light and the right backdrop in unfamiliar territory and to place my subject in it. That may sound simple enough but honestly it is not, particularly on a day with no clouds in the sky. One of our planned locations just wasn't possible as a result of the direct…

Portraits of a Beautiful Young Woman and Her Guitar

You may remember a while back when I did a casting call looking for teenage boys and girls. Well this is the girl I chose. I had quite a specific look in mind, one which included really long hair. I have always had a thing for long hair. The choice also became quite simple when this young lady put herself forward as she is someone I've been photographing through school for several years and she is a past member of the Hinckley Athletics Club where she has been coached by my husband for nearly as many years. He's always had a soft spot for her, being one of his first members which helped my decision. When I have projects where I want to work with a model rather than a paying client I like to use friends or past clients whenever possible as it enables me to give something to those who have been loyal to me.


Wallis has been a pleasure to work with. She is a stunning, confident young woman. In addition, she could bring props with her that I love. I've been wanting to photogra…

Family Portraits with Fine Art Flair

I have a love and hate relationship with family portraits. I love the finished piece and creating something that is truly special to the family. I love that in years to come something I made is going to be a cherished and valueable memento for this family. What I struggle with, is getting all members of the group to look their best at exactly the same moment in time. You would be surprised at how difficult this actually is, particularly when it comes to 6 children. But I always get there in the end, whether it is the luck of a moment or with the aid of Photoshop. I ensure that everyone in the portrait is looking their best, even the dog.


Seeing as this family is actually made up now of two families we also did portraits in their respective groups which I chose to do in different style to their main group. I love adding a bit of style for the overall main group and what you see above is something that is proving popular with my clients. I love adding props and giving a sort of Vanity F…

Do You Have a Little Pirate in Your Family?

If so, why not capture it in a beautiful portrait so you can cherish these memories forever?


I designed and built this set for a client. She came to me with a son and daughter and during the consultation we discussed the interests of the children, as I always do. Our ideas for portraits for her daughter were going to be easy. She loved the idea of modelling pretty dresses so her shoot was sorted. Her son on the other hand was more difficult. Where ever possible I try to incorporate something about the children into each portrait. That can mean books, sports, dance, musical instruments or anything a person has an interest in. In this case he hadn't yet developed any interests, other than pirates.


Now my client didn't want me to go to too much trouble. We agreed it wouldn't be easy to make anything pirate themed look as though it fit my style and level of quality. A shop bought costume wasn't going to cut it. But I just had to try. I love dark wood in my portraits and I …