So, For an Artist of any kind to put themselves out there in the world is kind of terrifying. Instagram helps... industry people, clients, and people who appreciate your work can see it but don't really interact with it always or honestly. So, aside from posts here and there is a good chunk of my work that isn't seen and I rarely enter contests. Until now, this year I told myself I need to. Its how one grows. So, when this years Shoot and Share contest came across I dragged my feet... and submitted 50 Images on the VERY LAST DAY to enter.
Then poured a glass or two of a good red wine.
What is Shoot and Share and Why haven't I heard of it? Well. Shoot and Share is a global community made up of 40,000 photographers. They specialize in everything from Birth to Family to Wedding Photography and more. The founders of the group are small business owners that are photographers who have expanded into exploring the software needs of Photographers, so we can run ours businesses more efficiently. In doing so they discovered the need for community.
Every year they put together this elaborate contest. A contest you can say is for photographers, by photographers, voted on by photographers and moderated by photographers. Entering this contest means your work goes up against some of the worlds best and beginners and those same people vote on the images across 12 rounds. So I can't ask my best friend, husband and mom to go vote on my images to help me win. its 100% blind unless you know the image because you know the photographer.
Its nerve racking, fun, inspirational, and eye opening to be apart of this. Especially since this is the first year I convinced myself to do so. I hit enter..... had some emotions about it. Then the voting started, and I was like "why the hell did I enter?!?! My works sucks compared to these." (normal comment of a creative btw.) I really thought that I wasn't going to make it passed the 4th or 5th round.
Then I see a few more images, and decided.... I'll be OK if I make it to round 6. I'll be happy. Good start. Meanwhile, I'm getting distracted by Chickens ... So many Chickens... And figuring out how to Favorite images that I really like.
Round 6 comes..... I'm still in!! So, I'm proud of myself. Come round 8...9...10...and each time I figure out I'm still in I get tears for a moment because now I'm in the top 30% in something..... Happy Dances..panic...curiosity..... and more voting is the roller coaster were all on for the remainder of the contest.
It's seriously so much fun. I had images make through round 11. I'm 99.8% sure I was out in 12.... HONESTLY COULD NOT BE HAPPIER!! I am sooooo happy I did this. Not for validation but for what I learned.
You see, they give you the ability to favorite your favorite images and save them for later. Which is cool because you can view them all together at the end. I see a pattern. In style and editing. It's where I want to be...where I have been working towards. It helps me when I have those indecisive moments at the computer and inspires me before a shoot. I am spending time going through these images to learn more about the photographers behind the lens. A lot of them I already follow on Instagram.
Anyways... I am rambling right now and looking forward to next years contest. Enjoy the winners!