For the past three years I have submitted images for the Shoot & Share contest. Every year, I have to go to a special place of vulnerability having others look at my work. Having my images shown along with other incredibly talented photographers can have me in a self doubt game in no time. What I love most about this contest is that it is truly fair and square. You have to submit your work without watermarks. Images are displayed four random images at a time and when you vote on images, you are voting simply for which image you like best out of the four in that particular category. So there’s no popularity contest and no turning to social media to drum up support if you have a large following.
It is also the quickest way to get caught up in voting for hours. I tell myself I’m giving myself 10 minutes to vote and then an hour later, I’ve realized that I’ve fallen victim to how addictive it is. I can’t help but be inspired by the work of others and in awe of their work. Each year the contest gets harder and harder. I’m still is disbelief that one of my images received 13th place last year when 225,000 images were submitted. This year, over 330,000 images were entered, over 104,3784 people voted from 141 different countries, and over 49 MILLION votes were cast…talk about intimidating.
There are several different categories such as newborn, senior, families, children, etc. I submitted over 50 images and I’m thrilled that 31 of them were in the Top 30% or higher. As scary as it is to put your work out there, it is also the best encouragement to keep going. To discover others see beauty in your work that you pour your heart into, is the biggest compliment you can give a photographer.
This image performed the best, placing 68th. I think a huge part of it performing so well was the gorgeous subject and her amazing talent.
Landry (my daughter) does it again. Last year she won 13th place and this year it was 72nd. Still one of my very favorite images of her.
These four images were finalists, meaning that they made the top 3.5% of all entries in each category.
The following all placed in the Top 10th, 20th, and 30th percent!
I’m so thankful to have the honor of capturing these images and for all of you who voted for the Shoot & Share contest. Thank you for taking the time to encourage a photographer. That is exactly what we need to keep going.