Goals are what drive me. Several years ago I joined the Arkansas Professional Photographers Association (APPA) A great investment of time and a little coffee money. After joining I was soon talked me into attending their annual workshop weekend and entering their print competition. I went in thinking I take good pictures this shouldn’t be to hard. Yeah right, I found out really quick when being judged by a group of 6 master photographers how much I was doing wrong for this type of competition. Even though I was a bit discouraged in my scores that first year several members who were master photographers gave me encouragement and tips on what to work on and how to improve. I set a goal that first year of one day being named APPA wedding photographer of year.
Each year I went back and kept entering and listening and learning. Then trying to get better on each shoot pushing myself to try new things. Sometimes they worked. Other times not so much. Last year I missed qualifying by a point, maybe two,I really can’t remember. Well as 2017 year rolled around I wasn’t sure how any of my images would score, but I submitted 4 (that is the max for one category) that I liked in the wedding division. One in the commercial division and one in the illustrative division. You can only submit 6 images total.
When judging began and my first two scores came in for the wedding division and were about what I figured just missing a merit, I am the king of those! I was bummed and figured the rest of they would go about like this. Then I thought OK Greg you knew those were your two weakest prints so just hang on. Then things took a turn and each image kept getting better scores with the last image “Of Pillars and Archs” scoring the highest and reaching the excellent category. I knew when the judging was over I had accumulated enough points to be qualify. (top three scores from prints in that division) It was out of my hands now!
That night at the awards banquet I cannot tell you how thrilled I was as my name was called for first the distinguished print award, wedding division. Then first place in the commercial division, followed by first place in the wedding division. Then once all the print awards were handed out they named their photographer of the year for Senior, Wedding and Portrait. Well, I reached a major goal that night being named APPA wedding photographer of the year for 2017. As we closed up the banquet I was congratulated by many amazing photographers from our state. Then the next day like any one who pushes to be the best spent 5 hours in a awesome lighting class trying to get better!! Yeah gotta keep pushing and education is the way to grow. Now sites set on 2018! Oh let me encourage you if you are an Arkansas Photographer consider joining us. It is a wonderful way to network with some of the best photographer in our state as well as learn from them. Below are my 2017 entries.
“The Dance Unseen” Illustrative Division
“Corporate Nights” First Place Commercial Division
“Calm in the Storm” Distinguished Print Award / Wedding Division
“Of Pillars and Archs” First Place Wedding Division