My friend Russell and I, all dressed up for the awards!
Besides returning home from Australia (blog posts to come) I spent a week in Nashville for the 2018 PPA Imaging U.S.A Conference.
While at Imaging USA I was honored with not only being a Platinum Photographer of the Year for my International Print Competition (IPC) case, but I my image "Year of the Fox" was up for a Grand Imaging Award (GIA) in the landscape/nature category. I did not place but it was a huge honor to up on stage with so many amazing and talented people. It was only my second year entering so I feel quite honored in my accomplishments and cannot wait to see what next year brings!
Being able to attend a whole week of classes and mingle with thousands of photographers has given me the motivation I need to make 2018 the best year yet. While I was there I took my CPP (Certified Professional Photographer) test and passed with a 90% on my first try. A huge thanks to Chris Broughton for teaching me my basics at Brooks. I still got it! Also a HUGE thank you goes to Steve Kozak, who's study guide helped refresh my memory. I currently have submitted my image portfolio and have to wait a few more weeks for my results... ::fingers crossed::
Below you will find my print case which earned me my Platinum Photographer of the Year along with my GIA finalist image.
1st Place: Work - "Rain or Shine
I am bit late on my posting, but I am happy to announce that I won 1st place in the "Work" category in the South Dakota Public Broadcasting (SD PBS) Photography Contest. This is my second year in a row placing so I am very honored that my images are once again helping to raise money for a good cause. To see all the winners CLICK HERE. To get a copy of your own calendar of winning images I think you just need to donate to SD PBS, so call 1-800-456-0766 today!
Beloware all of the images I submitted to this year's contest. Unlike last year, when photographers only had one day to create their images, this year we were given a whole week and would you believe that entire week was cloudy and rainy in the Black Hills? Go figure. That week I was scheduled to take a few visitors to chase and photograph the 1880 Train, hence why most of my submissions are train related. I also chose to do a leaf study that week due to the crappy weather, which is why I submitted one random leaf image photograph.
On April 30th The Dahl announced the image that won The Peg Sagen's People's Choice Award. The image "The Fiery Heavens Above," my photograph, was chosen by the public for this honor. I was deeply humbled by the outcome of the exhibit/contest. All three of my submitted images were excepted and honored by awards.
As many of you may not know, I started my photography business back in 2005. By 2008 it had become profitable and I decided to open a gallery to showcase my work. Unfortunately for me, my timing was off and soon the economy crashed. This event forced me to put my passion to the side as I looked for part-time work, which soon let to full-time work, which subsequently led to me giving up photography all together. At the time I did not notice the emptiness that was building in my heart. I had been taking pictures since I was 8-years old, so to just "quit cold turkey" really took a lot out of me.
Thankfully sometime last year signs were pointing me back to my passion. I had just lost my job and thought it a great oppportunity to revamp my business to have a more educational focus. I have spent the last year rebuilding my portfolio, recreating my website and even changing my company name. It has been hard work; I have often wondered if I made the right choice, the fear of my past putting doubt in my mind. Winning these awards has given me a sign that I am moving in the right direction and provided me the motivation I need to keep moving forward with my dream. Thank you all for coming along with me on this journey.
Everyone has a passion in life, mine is photography mixed with the great outdoors. Though such should come as no surprise since I grew up playing and getting lost in the woods of The Black Hills of South Dakota. Making it only natural that I feel most at home when I am surrounded by mountain peaks and the voices of the animals. I have always wanted to make a difference in this world, I just did not know how I could. I soon realized by documenting our planet I could share my joy with the rest of the world. It is my hope that with my nature photography I will instill the same passion and love that I have for Mother Nature into others. This world we live on is truly an amazing place, but with our personal lives filled with work and stress we often forget to stop and take in the beauty all around us.