The Shoot and Share contest is one that I look forward to every year: primarily because its free. So many contests require you to submit a payment, and I’m just not going to pay to enter. Lesson that my high school English teacher Chuck Bright taught me when I was entering writing contests.
This year the Shoot and Share contest was held later than usual. I went with my gut when submitting my images. The trend is a warmer, moodier editing style than I like for my images, but despite having a different style, I was pleased that I increased in the number of images that received an award.
This year mimicked the results of my first year; my family images placed highest. And Share Joy seems to be the category I continue to do best in, and truly, I’m OK with that. I describe my photography as timeless, classic, and joyful, so I’ll take doing well in Share Joy!
My best image was my kids from our brief Christmas card shoot in Alexandria, Virginia, which placed in the Share Joy category. I actually have this framed (cropped a bit differently, though) in my house. It took zero prompting… this is the boys following my crazy oldest girls’ lead. If she’s good during a session, then I’m golden. If she’s in a mood, they’ll follow.
I also had one image in the top 20% from a session I did last summer. Styling and having your outfits on par is huge, as this shows! This made it to Round 9 of the Families category. Click here to see more from that sweet session at one of my favorite locations!
I had a three images come in 30% this year. My son in Kids, my family doing ice cream cheers in Annapolis (also framed in my house), and another image from the same session from above, both listed in Families.
I never shared my results from last year; they came out when my husband arrived home from Afghanistan, so here are those results.
I had one in to 10% for Babies and Toddlers.
And I had three more in top 30% for Babies and Toddlers.
My first year was still the best when my son’s photos were finalist and top 100 and top 30%. My kiddo celebrating his cake smash was top 100 for Share Joy my first year entering, while his other cake picture made the top 30% for Lifestyle/Documentary.
The polar bear was taken on my iPhone while visiting the St. Louis zoo. We still joke that the bear is my son’s “true love”. It was a Finalist in the final round that year.
And here are my awards. I try not to get too sucked into contests like this, but it is a good gauge for myself on how I am doing year after year. The website stores all of my photos and it’s amazing to see how I’ve grown in how I capture and edit images. I’ve invested a lot of money into professional development and gear. What I make in photography goes to my children’s tuition or right back into the business. I’m glad to see myself improving each year when I upload the images. I’m always impressed with what I have to offer.
Living in Maryland can make it challenging to have those “epic” shots. We don’t have mountains, open skylines, or a lot of ocean sunsets. But we do have the Chesapeake Bay, some great fields, and those gorgeous monuments in Washington, DC.