Normally this day would bring me a lot of joy and excitement. Unfortunately I don’t really know what I’m feeling right now. Every year that I’ve done this contest, there’s been some sort of issue, whether it be with the poll itself or some other glitch. This year’s issue was quite different. I could choose to ignore and just put up a happy post about the winners, but I want to be transparent with all of you. My heart is heavy because I honestly don’t think there is a winner this time around. All parties involved have been hurt by this contest. I don’t know if there was a right decision to be made. Some people may disagree with my choice to show grace & forgiveness in stead of disqualification. I, however, still stand by that choice. I will always favor grace & forgiveness over judgement of someone’s mistakes. Apologies were made & although some people may not believe it, the last day was a fair and honest race.
I will NOT be announcing the winner today because I don’t feel that there is one. I will be communicating in private with the top 3 couples and tell them my decision as far as the canvas goes. Ultimately this contest was suppose to be about healthy competition, fun, and to bring fresh eyes to my work. The top 3 couples did go above and beyond promoting this contest and I want to thank them for all of the hard work that they put in getting people to vote for them. For that I am extremely grateful and it helps to redeem a bit of this whole thing.
I hope through all of this a lesson can be learned. That cheating, when it’s all said and done, does hurt people. But, forgiveness will always be a better choice than condemnation. Thank you to everyone who participated in this years contest. I can’t guarantee that I will do this again. After this I may have to try something new. I will, however, ALWAYS celebrate the couples that I have the privilege to shoot. My opinion of my 2013 clients has not changed in any way, they are still absolutely fantastic and I am blessed to know them.
Thank you for your understanding.
I don’t know what happened, Mabyn, but I hate that negativity has been associated with all the beauty and love your talent has allowed you to capture and share with us all.
I know people will probably not believe me, but I had honestly no idea people were cheating on my behalf to get us the numbers that we had late on Saturday. Sometimes people have really good intentions that go very wrong when they take it too far. I feel absolutely terrible it happened and I don’t know what to say other than what I have said to Mabyn. I understand her feelings about the whole thing leaving her with a “heavy heart” as well, this weekend has felt like an emotional roller-coaster.
I have seen the beautiful photos of Lesley and Russell. They are breathtaking! Without a doubt you are a talented photographer that I would highly recommend! However, after reading this post, I am even more impressed by your character, not your talent. The gift of grace you are offering is more valuable than any canvas! May God bless you richly this year- personally and in your business. Thank you for reminding me that because much grace has been given to me, I need to extend it to others.
I don’t know how the “cheating” was done, but I can gladly say that I voted only once 🙂 one time throughout the whole competition & not weekly, daily or hourly 🙂 ALL of the photos are magnificent! The photographer is awesome & I’ve definitely found someone who I’d love to have do photos for me & my family in the future <3
All your photos are beautiful, and from meeting you thru your work, I think you are just as beautiful in life as you are in your photography. What a please it is to meet a lady with your love for the people you meet in life. Believe me, there were a lot of lesons learned…..that will never be forgot here. Thank you for sharing the best blessing in life. Love and forgiveness. Many blessings to you….I am sure God will be with you in anything you do.
Oh wow didnt expect this. I really liked the entries! I am glad you went with your honest opinion here Mabyn. I am glad that you can separate who you are from the world of business and not just gloss over the things that make business bad. Thank you. (Business just referring to things having to do with owning a company, such as contests, and other related things.)