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This winter I decided to enter the annual Shoot & Share Contest I had been hearing so much about, and I’m excited to share the contest results!  A total of 412,379 images were entered this year, with millions of votes cast over the length of the contest.  With 25 different categories offered, each photographer was allowed to enter up to 50 images. During the voting process, no names were shown, so every photo was judged on its own merit, with all photographers being the judges.  Since I heard about this contest after it had already begun last year, I was excited to give it a try when it came back around this year.  Not quite sure what to expect or what to enter, I threw the net as wide as I could and entered a variety of my personal, travel, and client work.  The voting process was a whole learning experience for me, and it makes me even more excited about next year, as I got a much better feel for the contest and the kinds of images that were doing well.  The contest winner images are absolutely fabulous and inspiring, and if you have a minute you should click on the Shoot & Share link to check them out!

Contest Results – Finalist

As for my entries, I was thrilled to have a number fare well.  I did have one FINALIST image place 118th out of 26,963 entries in the FAMILY category.  I couldn’t have been more excited with that image in particular, as that sweet little family was one of my first families I ever photographed.  This picture of them was from their second session with me, and I could write a whole paragraph about why that session was extra special.  (For a few more from that session, click HERE.  And to see their ENTIRE session, including a surprise at the end, click on the video link HERE.)  Photographing families is where it all began for me, it is something that is near and dear to me on many levels.  So if anyone had asked me to pick a category I wanted to do well in, this would have been my choice!

mom and dad kissing toddler boy contest results finalist winner

 

I also had a handful of images land in the top 10%, top 20%, and top 30% in a variety of categories (Creative/Personal Projects, Family, Kids, Babies & Toddlers, Lifestyle & Documentary, Travel & Landscape).

Contest Results – Top 10% (with the exception of one)

shoot and share contest results girl in red cape

sunset maternity st louis award winning photographerfamily of ten winning photo st louis photographer contest resultslittle boy with blue eyes st louis photographergirl with apples st louis award winning photographer

 

Contest Results – Top 20%

 

brothers and wagon st louis photographerlaughing after the kiss st louis photographerseven siblings and a ladder st louis photographerbrown haired girl holding cotton st louis photographer

girl in red in fog st louis photographerlittle boy watching coffee st louis photography

sunset mountain st louis photographerlandscape reflections st louis photographer

Contest Results – Top 30%

 

girl with dog and yellow flowers st louis photographylittle boy getting costume st louis photographerlittle boy taking in the falling leaves st louis photographyprincess and captain america st louis photographer

four boys holding newborn sister st louis photographer

 

As a couple of fun parting thoughts–I laughed as soon as I saw the results regarding one certain aspect.  As you can imagine, my kids are my number one guinea pigs…EH HEM, I mean MODELS…when I want to try new things.  In general, I leave my oldest boys alone, as I can only imagine how much getting in front of the camera for my artistic whims is NOT their favorite thing to do.  So I limit how much I ask them.  However, my younger five are pretty much sitting ducks.  Of my girls, Abby is the one who is most resistant to getting in front of the camera.  So I’m always careful about how often I ask.  That said, if you’ll notice from the results, she obviously did pretty well.  I couldn’t help but chuckle as I ever so carefully pointed that out to her…

Another note about my kids…please notice the one of all of them standing on the ladder.  Many of you who know us well already know the story–or fiasco depending on how you define it–behind this image.  That picture AND setup was NOT in my plans that afternoon as we were trying to pull off family pictures for our Christmas cards.  In fact, I made it PRETTY clear to my husband after I had everything set up in one spot, only to look over to see all my kids on that crazy old board going up the ladder and obviously NOT ready to get in the location I had planned–that I was not happy about any of it.

“What?!” my husband says to me, after seeing the look of pure frustration on my face. “I just wanted to make everyone 6 foot 6 like me!”

So I finished helping him with the setup and took the picture.  Today it hangs as a beautifully framed canvas in my home.  If you come to visit, my husband will be sure to point it out to you and tell you the story, with certain points about my reaction that day a bit more emphasized than I care to admit.  So I will confess here publically once and for all…

IT WAS A FABULOUS IDEA, DAN…AND I LOVE HOW IT TURNED OUT, AFTERALL! 😉

As I recently crossed into my third year of business, I would like to take a minute to thank each of you.  Many of you have let me have the honor of capturing your families, and I am so grateful.  Many of you have been my cheering section as I’ve navigated this newer aspect of my life over the past couple of years, and I know I wouldn’t have landed here without your encouragement and support.  And of course, several of you have fallen into both of those categories.  THANK YOU!

I also want to thank a handful of you who are much further down the path in this photography world than I am and have been incredible teachers and mentors for me along the way.  That has been priceless, and I treasure your authenticity and friendships. THANK YOU!

Finally, I will end with this last image, which also placed in the top 10%. This picture currently resides as a metal in my parent’s home, as these are their grandchildren at a lake back in Iowa. This crew is a tired and sun-kissed bunch after a fantastic day playing, boating, skiing, swimming, jet-skiing, zip-lining, fishing, marshmallow-roasting and goodness knows what else on a warm summer day last August.  But they pulled off a fun image that captures the essence of childhood–and regardless of how any vote or contest results go, I couldn’t love it more!

jumping kids st louis photographer

 

I’m looking forward to 2018!  If you’re looking for a St. Louis photographer, I’d love to visit with you about capturing you or someone you love.  Connect with me HERE for details.

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