I woke up this morning to gray skies and a dark cozy room. All I wanted to do was sit in bed and drink my coffee. I popped open my laptop to get up to date on the most recent chatter and low and behold I saw that the latest Fearless Photographer Awards had been posted.
Let me preface this by saying that entering my photographs into contests or even submitting them to other wedding blogs doesn’t happen very often. I easily get caught up in the business of day to day life and to be honest if my clients are happy with their photographs that’s what matters most. BUT, according to my cousin, I am the product of two perfectionists. So I strive for excellence in everything I do. I may not always succeed, but being excellent in my craft is important to me. Yet, there is also this part of my brain that is terrified of criticism. That someone will point at my work and say “You’ll never be good enough!” It’s a very small part of my brain, but it’s there none the less.
This brings me to Fearless Photographers. I’ve been part of this organization almost from it’s conception. Every few months Fearless Photographers will have a contest where you can submit photographs anonymously to be judged. The top 10% of photographs are chosen to win a Fearless Award by some of the best photographers in the world.
When I first joined and there were fewer people entering, I submitted my work….and received nothing. Then that fearful part of my brain took over and for more than I year I chose not to submit work. Collection after collection would be revealed and I would drool over the winners work and push myself every wedding to think outside the box. Technically I was a Fearless Photographer, I was part of the organization…but I wasn’t completely fearless.
Finally the latest wedding season came around. I told myself that I wasn’t going to be afraid of submitting anymore. That I was going to be a real fearless photographer, rejection or no rejection. At this point, the competition was 10 times harder. More people, more talent, more pictures. In the past year or two since being part of Fearless, it’s gone from being a few hundred to thousands of submissions!
Like a doofus, I missed the first round of submissions for this season and kicked myself, but I made sure I was ready for the fall round. So with more trepidation than hope I submitted 6 photographs for consideration.
Fast forward to this morning as I tentatively scrolled through the winners. My mood was dark and my hopes were low. Each photograph I looked at was better than the other and my hopes continued to spiral downward…so you can imagine the HUGE surprise I received when I was presented with my very own picture staring back at me in the collection! One of my photos was chosen out of thousands of entries! One of my photographs was deemed worthy of recognition!
There really aren’t words to describe what this award means. Not only does it renew my hopes that I can be worthy of the name Fearless, but it validates all of my clients trust that they’ve put in me. I may not be a master of my craft yet, but I am on my way. I am extremely honored to be part of this collection with artists that I am always looking up to as well as peers whom amaze me daily. I will no longer be fearful of submitting my work. No it wont always get chosen, and that’s ok. But I need to keep pushing myself to do the things that scare me because the rewards they could yield are profound!
Congrats to Liz & Tom & their adorable ring bearer for being my subjects of this award winning photograph!
P.S. I just found out that 13,500 images were submitted this round…can someone pick me up off the floor please?! o.O