Let me give you a little background. Do you remember that last year I went to this great photography conference in Orlando? It's called Images for a Cure, and the proceeds go to breast cancer research. It was started by the fabulous Kristen Weaver, and it includes a ton of other great working photographers in the line up. I can totally write an entire post on my experiences there last year, so I'll save it for another day. But I found out what it was like to actually make friends in this industry. I found other photographers who are working and able to teach us and inspire us with their successes and techniques. It also wasn't just the guest speakers either. I learned just as much from the people sitting next to me at my table as I did from the guests. It was such a joyous, positive experience, that I knew I had to do it again this year. I also knew that I had to drag Dan along for the ride.
That in itself is always a big deal since we have to get sitters for dogs, bunnies, and children. But Saturn crossed in Neptune's path, or something like that, and it all worked out. I registered us. I got us a place to stay thanks to generous friends. And then I stumbled upon a competition courtesy of facebook. It was hosted by Solutions Bridal in Olrando, and they asked photographers to submit their best image from the past year, and to answer several photography related questions. See my entry and answers here. The top 5 would be featured on their blog, and then the top 3 with the most comments would win a sponsorship. That means no entry fees for the workshop!
And then I waited. And not very patiently. I checked their blog and my email like every 5 minutes! No joke. When the deadline came around, and I didn't hear anything, I was seriously disappointed. I don't know why. I enter things all the time and don't get chosen, and I learn a lot from it. But for some reason, I was about to cry! I'll blame it on hormones - or something. I just felt like I had a decent shot. And then I saw their blog post before the email came in. And there it was!!! I was so excited to have made it to be a finalist, it was totally like winning! I got the sweetest emails telling me the good news, and I was head over heels with excitement.
Then that type A personality kicked in gear, and I was determined to win this thing. I started bugging everyone I know to go comment on my picture. And they did. And they left some of the sweetest, greatest comments that really meant a lot to me. I was floored. The comments from my customers, family, and friends were better than winning any contest. I am so flattered and honored. I just want to hug each and every one of you! I cannot describe how happy it made me feel. That's when I know I am doing what I love, and that I am in the right job for me.
In the end, I didn't win, but I came in 3rd!!! It was still good enough to get a sponsorship to the workshop!!! Yay me! I really am excited, and not just to have gotten this honor, but for all the things to come. Yes, I am excited for the workshop. I am excited for inspiration, and I am excited to keep making beautiful images for my wonderful customers.