As many of you know, in January of this year I entered a photography contest via Shoot & Share. Last year, I only entered a few images because I was nervous about how I would do. Out of 8 images that I entered last year, this one got top 30% in its category. It made it 4 rounds out of 10 and placed 3,872nd out of 17,751 images entered into the Families category. I felt so honored that one of my images placed at all, considering the competition!
To give you some background on this shot, this is one of my best friends since college, her husband and their daughter. We had just wrapped up their family session at Morven Park and I turned around to see this happening. I immediately snapped away and caught this beautiful moment. I love the way that my eye goes from their daughter to their moment together as a couple. It's still one of my favorite images to this day!
For this years contest, I decided to go for it! You're allowed to enter up to 50 images, so that's what I did. I selected images that meant something to me or that I thought showcased my best work. The thing about this contest is that there are truly some amazingly talented photographers who enter. Their work is exquisite, so to be put into a contest side by side with them is both amazing and humbling. Here are all of my images that placed in the top 30% or better, with some background about each image. I hope you enjoy them!
This shot was a part of my magical mini-sessions back in March of 2016. I've photographed this little girl for a long time and she just keeps getting more and more beautiful! It made it to round 6 of 12 and ranked 5,578th out of 23,969 images entered into the Children: Kids/Teens category.
Many of you probably remember this shot that I captured back in October of 2016. This beautiful girl was so sleepy and happy throughout our entire session, and for about 2 minutes she woke up in this setup and shot me this look. She happily went back to sleep afterwards, but this face is priceless and I will always adore this portrait of her. It ranked 4,574th out of 18, 536 images entered into the Newborn category and made it to round 6 of 12.
This is a familiar face (and will continue to be in this blog post). As most of you know, it's my (current) youngest child. I photograph her quite a bit because I'm almost always with her, so she gets to be my subject more often than my other children. This is one of the images that inspired me to do an entire mini-session day around this type of shot. It's simple and really focuses on the child themselves, instead of everything else around them. It helps that she's pretty beautiful all on her own.....not that I'm biased or anything ;) This image made it to round 7 out of 12 and placed 4,491st out of 23,969 images entered into the Children: Kids/Teens category.
This is my nephew during his 6 month session with me. (No, he wasn't actually standing on his own at 6 months, this is the power of Photoshop!) I love this image because I feel like he looks like a little New York mobster, when in reality, he is the sweetest, most smiley baby that I know. This image made it to round 7 of 12 and placed 3,943rd out of 22,953 images entered into the Children: Babies/Toddlers category.
Here she is again! This shot was actually taken while I was location scouting in October of 2016. I was checking out Claude Moore Park in Sterling, Virginia and fell in love with this little path because the colors were gorgeous. Whenever I look at this image, I think about how glad I am that you can't see that her shoes are on the wrong feet! She isn't always in the mood to model, but when she wants to, the camera loves her! Out of 23,969 images in the Children: Kids/Teens category, this image placed 3,368th.
This shot of my son jumping into a lake at his grandparents house in Minnesota always makes me smile. He can swim, but not for long periods of time, and a lake versus a clear pool made this mama nervous. Because of that, he was in "floaties" the whole time he was in the water, but it made both of us feel confident about him being in the water because we knew he was safe. Watching him jump into the lake over and over and over and OVER again was such a joy and I am so glad that he loves the water! This image was entered into the Children: Kids/Teens category and made it to round 7 out of 12. It placed 2,980th out of 23,969 images.
This shot was taken about a year ago during one of our last snowfalls. I had received this coat as a hand-me-down and immediately thought of how pretty it would look against a snowy background. I cut off the image towards the bottom of the coat so that you couldn't see her jeans and her pink princess snow boots! Out of 17,751 images entered into the People Portraits category, this image placed 2,909th and made it to round 7 out of 12.
This was another location scouting shot with one of my dear friends Blaire at Second Ave Photography. We went to Rust Sanctuary in Leesburg because, as most photographers are, I'm obsessed with finding tall grass and my favorite locations had mowed all of theirs down! It was FREEZING the day that we went, so underneath that blanket, she was wearing lined pants, snow boots, a shirt, a sweater and a coat! Needless to say, it was a short trip! This image made it to round 8 in the Children: Kids/Teens category and out of 23,969 images, it placed 1,820th.
Who can resist toddlers in tap shoes?! My youngest is also in this shot (she's in the polka dotted, ill-fitting tights), but I wanted this image to just capture their tiny little shoes and the adorable barre that they got to use at Bella Ballerina in Leesburg. This image was entered into the Personal Work category and made it to round 9, placing 872nd out of 11,400 images!
This image was my best placed image for the entire contest. It ranked 740th out of 8,304 images entered. It's amazing to me because, as you all know, I am not an engagement/wedding photographer. I shot this image for one of my other best friends' engagements, also at Morven Park. The flowers are always immaculate there, but I loved this particular one because of its gorgeous colors.
Next year, my goal is to again enter 50 images and to have even more images place in the top 10% and/or be in the Finalist category. Make sure that you check out the contest next year because the images are truly works of art! Also, be sure to keep an eye on my page and let me know when you think my shot should be included in next years contest!