About a year ago I became a member of the Professional Photographer's Guild of Mid Florida. This group meets once a month and is made up of so many great and talented photographers from all around Central Florida. We have guest speakers come in to teach about all the different aspects of photography, and 3 times a year we have Salon…aka…print competition. Salon is open to the members of our guild, and guest judges come in from all around the state to judge the images. Our salon is a mini-version of the state wide competition that happens once a year at Florida's convention in August. Ever since I joined the guild, I've been curious to see how some of my images would do in competition. I know that my clients love my work, but it's a whole different feeling to be judged by your peers…by other photographers that you admire and look up to, some of whom have been doing this for my entire life.
So all that to say, I submitted some images for Salon this month and the judging took place this evening. I really went into this with no expectations, just simple curiosity. Images are scored on a scale from 0-100. An 80 or above means the image receives a "Merit". It means a lot to receive a Merit award. I think the highest score given tonight was an 85. There were quite a few 80's, but only a handful of 82-85's. A score of 76-79 receives an award of Excellence, but isn't quite good enough for a Merit. Now that I've bored you with the details, here's how it went down for me tonight…
First up – "Beach Baby"
This is Sydney when she was just over 1 year old. It scored a 78.
Next – "Precious Moment"
This is a favorite of mine from a session I did last year. It also scored a 78. Not too bad for a first timer like me I thought.
This image just makes me smile. The timing could not have been more perfect in capturing this little newborn's "smile". I got very mixed reviews from the judges on this one. Out of the three judges, the one woman LOVED it and scored it an 85. The male judges weren't as convinced at first, but were talked up to an 80 from each. Combined score was an 82. Woo-hoo! A Merit!
And finally – "Contemplation"
I absolutely LOVE this image. I just got a print made for my studio a few weeks ago. To capture an 18 month old in a pose like this with the beautiful chair and the beautiful window light was such a blessing to me. It was overall praise from the judges on this one. One of them called it "mysterious" and just LOVED it. It scored an overall 83. Wow! I was shocked and smiling ear to ear as you can imagine.
Thanks for letting me share about this new and exciting challenge. It was a fun night and I learned a lot.