It’s that time again! And perfect timing too – as the next few posts will be 2024 Seniors! I am excited to highlight some images I have submitted to a recent competition.
2023 The Portrait Masters
Early this year, I submitted three images to The Portrait Masters. This can get expensive – as I pay to enter each image to be judged by a select seasoned of judges. Not only am I watching my 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 and I have had a few ‘no merits’. It’s not fun, but it shows me where I need to improve. This is a twice-a-year competition, and already I am looking through current images I have taken with the 2024 Seniors and previous seniors as I only submit to the senior category. My images are from actual senior sessions! Images that you fall in love with too!
I entered in the first half of 2023 – 2022 University Senior Averi and earned a Bronze. There is usually a point in time during my sessions when I will realize that I have photographed the favorite image of the entire session. This was that one. With that perfect lighting behind her and her beautiful smile, she picked a nice shirt that popped with color and complimented her perfectly. This image still stops me when I scroll through images.
When I enter images, I usually have a handful of images sitting in a folder and they go back a few years, I’m waiting for the right time to enter them – and there is ‘no right time’ to enter. I don’t know who the judges are that review the images, so I am not picking a certain photo for a certain judge to review. I think it’s more in my confidence that I love the image, but is it good enough for a Bronze, Silver, or Gold? And Silver and Gold are fine detailed photography. Where the photographer will spend about 2-3 months editing the photo after photographing it. There have been props, ideas, and lots of details put into the image. The Portrait Masters award winning images are stunning. Where right now, I love entering images I took during a session. Natural, nothing over-edited, and just perfect.
When adding 2019 Chaparral Senior Emily into the competition – there are some really amazing images to pick from her session. She was a lifeguard at the local pool, which provided us with a lot of fun photos but I prefer to submit the casual dress images. And this photo – with her curls all around her face – is magic. This is one of my go-to poses if the hair is long enough to do. I love to have a little movement in my set of images that I show to the seniors and their families. Having Emily stand with her back to me and on the count to turn quickly to me, the hair – if done perfectly cascades across the face and just looks gorgeous. Her ringlets, and that serious face (another thing that has to be pulled off perfectly), makes this image very model-like. So if you ask me – another show-stopper image when scrolling.
Rounding out this set of images for completion, my favorite Emilie. She’s a 2018 Legend senior and the summer of her senior year, she was my assistant on almost all of my sessions, we were practically joined at the hip! She was and still is the best assistant I ever had. She held my camera bag for me, my sunlight blocker, and helped the seniors with getting their hair in place, outfits adjusted and just making them smile – she was amazing! There was no question that I had to enter this gorgeous photo of her, seriousness and all. I would enter her brother 2020 Legend Senior Bryson into the 2020 Image Competition!