When the Best Isn’t Good Enough

Typically I sit on my blogs for a bit before posting, just to make sure I’ve put my thoughts into words the best of my ability. This post, however, is being typed and presented with only moments to spare before I pack up my truck and head to Columbia, MD where I will be handing in my first ‘Print Case’ for our Professional Photographers of America state print competition.

I have such an amazing bundle of nerves and excitement, just like back when I was submitting for finals, back in my college days. Is the paper right? How about the image? Did I edit it correctly? Should I have entered something else? What if it doesn’t score well? What if it does?! 

I’ve had plenty of people ask me, ‘What does it mean to enter a competition? What does it do for you?’ That’s actually a bit of a loaded question and I’m sure. You’d get a different answer with everyone you asked. 

For me, I wonder, ‘Why win anything? Why be the top of you class or the first chair in band? Why be the team captain or try for that chili cook-off?’  Personally, because I want to be The Best I can be - and then be better. I want to be challenged, I want to learn more, I want to pick myself up when my ‘All’ wasn’t good enough, only to prove to myself I had it in me. And if that can be passed along to my clients in the work I provide them, I want them to be proud that they’ve acquired an intentionally perfected piece of art, reflecting their life. 

 Well beyond the click of a shutter, image, paper, and presentation selection are incredibly important in print competition.

Well beyond the click of a shutter, image, paper, and presentation selection are incredibly important in print competition.

So, as I run out the door, that’s my ‘Why’. I’m sure I’ll think of more later (as I always do) but for now, wish me luck, some thick skin, and an open mind. 

I’ll keep you posted! 



Behind the Scenes: Imaging USA

It’s always a little hard to explain to people what goes on behind the scenes in Photography. On the one hand, I certainly don’t expect non-Photographers to understand, the same way I don’t know everything that goes behind the scenes of anyone else’s career. There’s almost always a bit of shock that more would involved than just buying a fancy camera and clicking the shutter button. 

One thing that I really love to share is the work that goes into being a part of the Professional Photographers of America (PPA), especially attending the annual Imaging USA convention. For 3+ days each January, Professional Photographers from all over the world join together to catch up with friends in the industry, going through a pretty intensive class schedule, discover new ways to serve their clients better, and just plain join in community until the next year rolls around. 

This is the 3rd year in a row that I’ve attended and this year specifically has been an incredible time of reflection. Since my re-entry into the photography world, it’s incredible to see the education leaps and bonds I’ve created in the last several years. I remember my first trip like it was yesterday, sort of sticking to myself, an observer, and being in awe over what was going on around me. This year, it was like watching myself in my own movie, realizing how much I had grown and achieved. 

Sitting on the airplane, flying back to D.C. / Maryland, I am slowly trying to figure out how I’m going to organize, execute, and display what I’ve absorbed over the last 3 days in Nashville, TN (the convention changes location - watch for it in the D.C. area 2020!). There’s just so much wonderful things to put in place and provide for others. Similarly to act of kindness, I don’t feel the need to display every small piece of the puzzle - but with my business and my art, I would love for you to know that despite the incorrect assumption that Photographers only work when they are behind the camera, that this is one Photographer, at 7:43pm on a Tuesday night, flying through the Midwest, is not only thinking of how I can better myself, but better myself for you. 


New Year, New Beginnings

I know I’ve mentioned this before, having a hard time keeping up to date on happenings through social media. It seems that so much happens, so fast, and there is always so little time to write it all down. Not to mention my brain has long left the ‘I gotta post this on Facebook / Instagram!’ instinct. 

While I’m not ‘into’ resolutions, I am incredibly fortunate to attend one of my most favored events at the beginning of each year, Imaging USA. Packed full of education, inspiration, and motivation, this is a time reserved for me to reflect and pursue. This year, as I fly over the Chesapeake Bay complete with a spectacular view of the Bay Bridge, I realize I have so much growth to reflect on - and I’d love to share that with you more. 

 Flying over the Chesapeake Bay / Bay Bridge in Maryland.

Flying over the Chesapeake Bay / Bay Bridge in Maryland.

The truth of the matter is, I don’t know that you will be impressed with where I go, what I do, or what sessions I have...nor do I expect you to be. But to keep you informed on changes, community events (I have a pretty amazing goal for 2018!), bring a little joy to your day through art - it does nobody any good to keep that all to myself, now does it? 

So I hope you’ll follow along with me this year and maybe we can meet up, share stories, and share a glass of wine or coffee together. Because as Mara Scott has said, "When you're sharing, it offers the opportunity for someone to help you." And growing is always an option. 

I look forward to going through this year with you!