You really never know how a photo will rub someone. Kinda like how one person's junk is another person's treasure, I guess. This is a beautiful thing, but it makes the task of assembling a photography portfolio (to impress someone you don't know) a difficult job. I consider the opinions of as many people and photographers as possible when putting my portfolio together. Consequently, I have many photos that might be struggling with their self-esteem, riding an emotional roller coaster after hearing "Nah. Take that shot out," and then "Wow. Nice shot. Move it up," back and forth. I only worry for the photos. I don't take it personally. I loving hearing people's honest feedback and I find it so interesting to see how different images affect different viewers.
I entered photos in the New Mexico Associated Press annual competition a couple of months ago. Last weekend, I was honored with 2 first places, one for a sports photo and another for a feature photo, and on top of that, they chose one of these pics as the "Photo of the Year." I'm shocked and surprised, kind of still waiting for them to tell me it was a mistake!
I think I am especially fond of the two honored images because they are both of scenes that I found tucked away in the corners of a big event where there was a whole lot going on.
On June 7, 2007, with dancers in all different costumes running all over the place, I was in photographer's heaven, shooting cute little dancers on stage, back stage, in the makeup room, and in the hallways. I had already taken plenty of photos and I knew I had what I needed, but for some reason, I continued to wonder and peek around in each room until I found these little "baby belugas," in a room in the very back, coloring in a coloring book before their showtime. I shot a few frames before this one girl looked around and then up at me. Her curious face completed the photo. This photo took first place in the Feature Photo Contest:)
At the 2007 Western Zone swimming championship, I was shooting for the sports page. I photographed several events and got some nice action shots before I noticed these guys. I really enjoyed the visual juxtaposition of the motorcyclists and the swimmers, seemingly unaware of or uninterested in their differences. This photo took first place in the sports category and was the "photo of the year." I think this is an example of how you never know what will make a judge tick. A portfolio reviewer in Louisville whom I highly respect looked at my portfolio recently and this is one of several images that he wavered back and forth over. I believe in the end he suggested I remove it, possibly knocking the photo's self esteem. But not for long, the APME judges lifted it back up.
You just never know. For now, I'm going to keep making images that I like and I'll continue trying to figure out which images move and shake the rest of you!:)