Last year in March I attended Nichole Van’s professional workshop (you may have read my review). During the workshop Nichole recommended entering print competition as a tool to help me learn and improve; just hearing the suggestion was intimidating.  Tons of questions spiraled through my mind. Was I willing to take the risk, to be judged on the merits of my work and nothing else? Was I ready? Was I good enough? You name it and I marinated on it.  In the end I decided to push my fears aside and make entering competition one of my goals for 2011.

I started with my local PPA chapter (Professional Photographers of Colorado) print competition. Not only did I enter 4 prints (1 case) for judging but I also volunteered to work the event so that I could learn about the process of competition and listen to my critiques. Just as Nichole had promised it was a fantastic learning experience. It was really fascinating to listen to the judging. It was also inspiring to see the work of my many talented peers.  After all was said and done 2 of my prints were awarded merits and my print case was one of the top 10 scoring cases for the competition. As a first timer I couldn’t have been more pleased with my showing.

After my local competition I went home and worked on my prints (the four I entered previously) based on the feedback I received from the judges at my local competition.  Lack of time prevented me from entering our district competition but I was determined to enter the PPA International Print Competition.  So with a leap of faith and fingers crossed I tweaked my images and shipped them to Atlanta for competition; that was months ago.

So this past weekend the PPA posted the results of the competition.  I was out of town attending Nichole’s lighting workshop (coincidence isn’t it?) when the results came in.  I must be frank, my expectations were not high.  The international competition attracts the best of the best and even though I was competing only against myself and not them per say, I just wasn’t confident (something I MUST work on).  So with that in mind you can imagine my reaction when I saw that not only did one of my prints merit being accepted in the “General Collection” but a second of my prints was accepted into the PPA “Loan Collection”. Yep! The “Loan Collection”!  The PPA Loan Collection is considered the best of the best and all images selected for the Loan Collection will be published in the  “Loan Collection” book.  I can’t even begin to explain how overwhelmed and honored I am to included with so many inspirational, creative and talented individuals.  Seriously, WOW! In fact, it was a week ago when I found out and I am just starting to take it all in.  I am going to let this marinate awhile and then I am going to start thinking about next year. “Next Year ?”, you ask…. Yep!  Yes, the recognition is amazing, but more than anything the education I received being part of the process is invaluable.  I want to learn more, get better, best my previous work and solidify myself as part of this fantastic professional community I belong to; competition will continue to help me in all of those areas and I am excited about the possibilities.


Thank you so much for dropping by my new blog (like the design?) and for helping me to celebrate the achievement of one of my goals for 2011.  Also, even though I took the initiative and they are my images I would not have been celebrating if it had not been for the encouragement, help and support of the following people. Thank you  Nichole Van, Jeff Johnson, Thomas Henn, Katie Lienert,  and my family & friends.  Last but far from least my amazing husband who is my biggest cheerleader. He makes it possible for me to have all my dreams; without you I would be less. (Wow, it sounds like an Oscar speech. LOL)


stand out
Making your own weather, Girl in dark attic bring light, Postive outlook, Cloudy with a chance of amazing

“The Stand Out”, accepted into the

Professional Photographers Of America 2011 General Collection.



Birds bursting from Girl, Girl losing pieces of herself, Watching parts leave,

“Taking Flight”, accepted into the

Professional Photographers Of America 2011 Loan Collection.


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