I think Tallahassee probably heard me screaming in excitement all the way from Atlanta! I entered images into the regional competition of the Southeastern Professional Photographers Association (SEPPA) and I earned some of my highest print competition scores ever! On top of that, the SEPPA competition is known to have some of the toughest judges around, so it makes the scores even sweeter!
Photographic print competition is one of the toughest, most humbling, most infuriating and best things I have ever done as a photographer. These competitions hold photographers to the absolute highest standards imaginable and they push you to be the best you can be behind the camera, in Photoshop and in your overall creativity. I have learned more from print competition than any other source in my photographic career.
At the SEPPA competition, I had two of my four images merit which is a huge success in itself! Most people that entered SEPPA did not fare so well. My entry “Entangled” scored an 83, which is a pretty high score for the tough SEPPA judges. Then, my image “Unwrapped” was judged and received a 94. I was in shock. This is the highest print score I have ever received and it came from such a hard panel of judges. It took two solid days before I could believe it was real!
I received the second highest score in Florida, and the eighth highest of all the entries from all thirteen states that are a part of SEPPA. I was only four points from the top score awarded at SEPPA this year of a 98. “Overjoyed” does not even begin to describe my happiness!
These achievements were not mine alone, though. These images are a result of the amazing people who have been my photographic mentors and peers. I am so lucky to have the guidance of some of the finest people in this industry. If you are a photographer or you want to be a photographer, then I strongly encourage you to join groups who can give you this guidance. For me, this was the Professional Photographers of America, the Florida Professional Photographers and the Tallahassee Professional Photographers Guild. Through these groups, I was able to learn and grow as a photographer and I was also able to connect with photographers who inspire me, challenge me and bring out the best in me. To them, I will be forever grateful and because of them, I will always be committed to giving back to the photographic community and paying forward what has been so graciously given to me.