It’s image competition time. And like everything else with 2020, this year’s image competition was a quick letdown. Over the past few years, I have started entering image competitions to better my craft. Receiving feedback on areas that I can work on to make my next images better is not as scary as it used to be. Earning award levels for images submitted that count towards certification is actually very exciting!

But this year, a lot of inappropriate things happened on the back end of the international image competition that hosted the contest. As inappropriate as the company was, I will not be participating next year but I’m looking at it for this year in the sense that it was people not affiliated with the company that actually did the voting. This is the one with over a thousand submissions and because of the inappropriate behavior, I wasn’t able to get all the details on how I exactly did. I lost the desire to find out.

However, I did enter The Portrait Master’s image competition. With the Portrait Masters – there is actual judging. Lighting, posing, editing, and most of all – connection. When I enter this event, I’m receiving merits on the images that I submit. Based on the scores that will eventually earn me a certification.

So how did we do? Because we are in this together…

The Portrait Masters
I went a little more bold this round. I submitted 4 images. Unlike the international competition which is free, I pay to enter my images for this one. So not only am I watching a budget, but I’m picky because I want to make sure I select images that will score well. You can only score Gold, Silver, or Bronze or no merit at all. In my first 3 submissions in January 2019 only 1 image merited Bronze. This year? All 4 merited Bronze! That is so cool.

I was able to pick from my 2020 Seniors a few favorites that I felt were excellent in lighting, posing, and editing which is a recognition of ‘high professional standard’. I achieve to get these out of all my images, but there are some images that stand out a bit more. So 2020 Legend Seniors Bryson and Josh were selected.

Because I loved her session so much 2016 Legend Senior Jill had another image I wanted to enter.

I just featured sisters Makayla & Morgan a few weeks ago, and asked them to do something for me in return for their session fee, I had a goal to submit their photos into the Family and Group Portrait category.

This puts me closer to my Associate Level of accreditation with the Portrait Masters and I’m excited to note that this image competition runs twice a year this past week I submitted 4 more images for judging… stay tuned for those results!

Shoot and Share 2020
This year, they started later in 2020, which put us in lock-down with COVID19, and because I didn’t do a lot of sessions last year, just to provide my 50 free images, I went back some years. Really back, like to some days that I was still learning to just hold a camera! This is why I never took this event seriously but it was fun. I entered my seniors and added a lot more of my travels.

Top 30%

I went back in my time machine to find this image. From a balloon rally in Denver that I think went back to 2006 / 2007. I can remember my friend Mike telling me to look up and I did and I got this. No editing. Straight out of the camera. Hot air ballooning is an expensive hobby I could easily get into!

Another time traveler – in May of 2009, I flew down to San Antonio to take some pictures of my sister’s family as her husband was going on a big deployment with the Navy. I had done some scouting online at the missions that lead up to the Alamo (I think there is 5) and the San Jose Mission Church is my favorite one. If there was a place I wanted to revisit and photograph again, this would be on my list.

Top 20%

Go big or go home. 2020 Legend Senior Bryson is such a favorite image of mine and his. I love working on composites that I hope to do more with my 2021 seniors and on.

As I close out this year’s 2020 competition, I can only say a simple thank you for letting me be your photographer and going with me when I suggest “just one more shot”… and we create magic like this.

Take a look at the entire set of images I submitted for the Shoot and Share…