Anyone that has been around me for awhile knows I find so much joy in entering award competitions for my photography. I am a competitor by nature but it always makes me a better photographer as well. It makes me see little things that I never would have noticed if I wasn’t shown. Competitions aren’t for the faint of heart. Sometimes you get so attached to images and can’t understand why it didn’t do better. You have to develop thick skin for sure. When I first started entering, I didn’t understand that but now after 3, almost 4 years I do. I could imagine where competitions would take me. Every year I think, well there is no way I’m going to get any better but year after year I do grow. I think the competitions just make me push harder and work a little bit harder. I can take a picture, heck anyone can. But I want them to be more. I wanted an image my client would be proud to hang a 40×60 of. I wanted them to look back a year or two down the road and say that was the best experience and money spent. I guess in a way, I fail, if I cannot give that to every client. Awards helped me get where I wanted to be. I still would love to grow and be one of the best. I choose the Portrait Masters because I have never seen anything like the photography I see from these photographer. They are from all around the world and their images are just breathtaking. I always believe anything in life isn’t worth it, if it wasn’t a hard road getting there. The best things in my life I had to work for. If I’m not challenging myself, I am not growing. In January, I entered my first half images to be judged. I have also been working towards my accreditation as well. I was so close to my Associate Accreditation that I entered more than usual because I wanted to make sure I hit it this time! I entered a total of 11 images. Mostly pets of course but I did enter two in the children category and one in the contemporary portrait category. As I waited and checked the site, I began to tear up. So much emotion because it has been such a long road to get where I am at. For the third time in a row, all my images entered were awarded. Out of 11,242 images entered, only 16 received gold, 412 received silver and 2,023 received bronze with distinction. 3 of my images I was awarded silver and 3 received bronze with distinction. My other images all received bronze. I would have been thrilled with that but there was more. One of my pet images placed 11th in the top 20 images for the pet category. My portfolio was reviewed and I also received my Associate Accreditation. I am so humbled by this win. No I did win a category but I will one day. Each time it is one step closer to that win. Baby steps until you get where you want in life. That should always be everyone’s moto. I wanted to share my win, because I am so proud right now and beaming. Now it’s time to get ready for the second half awards and the Georgia Professional Photographer Association awards. And of course, working towards my Master Accreditation. Here are my wins!