So these last few months, I entered the 2017 Shoot and share contest. I heard about it last year, and missed the deadline, and was so bummed. I entered in time this last year. Although I didn't place in the top 20 in any of the categories, I feel that this whole experience was so great. After you enter up to 50 photos, it is opened to public, anonymous, voting. While voting I did see a few of my images, and some friends would screen shot mine when they saw them and send them my way. Other than that, I had no idea how I was doing throughout the eliminating. There was around 325,000 photos enter from around the globe! I had no idea when I entered this that it was so big. While voting, I saw so many wonderful artists works, and it made me want to be better. It made me want to push myself this year. It opened my eyes to how much talent there is out there. I think it is easy to get caught up in our own bubbles, with what we as artists are doing.
To see what is going on in the world around us as artists, not only pushes us to be better, but makes us appreciate more. Don't get me wrong it is easy while doing this to compare. It is easy to feel defeated, down, and not good enough. I have often times looked at other artists work, and although I admire it, it makes me feel like my own work can't compare, and I start to doubt. I heard a quote recently that is not a new quote, and has been around forever, but it really did resonate with me.
" Comparison is the thief of joy." - Theodore Roosevelt
When we compare our work in a negative way, we let ourselves think on this downward spiral. Where there should be joy in looking at someone else's work and what they were able to create or inspire with, that comparison becomes jealousy, and ultimately yields no joy. I tried to remember this when participating in this contest, and viewing other artists work. I found myself feeling more inspired than I have in forever. It prompted and challenged me to view things differently while doing my own work, try new angles, locations, editing, everything. I feel like I have this constant struggle between staying true to my brand and feeling in images, and trying new different things. I have come to the conclusion that my brand doesn't have to be defined by one color editing choice, or styling choice. I don't want to be a one trick pony. I want to create art that evokes emotion, love, dreams, fears, real life, and lives we could have never imagined. So my work may change over the years, it may not, but one thing will be constant... I will create based on my inspirations, and passion..... Because I think without passion we are not pushing ourselves to be better daily. I want to be always moving forwards.....
Ok enough deep rambling...... I thought I would share a few of my personal favorites of other peoples work from the contest. Some of them won, and some didn't, but these are a few of the ones that left me in awe.. I have gone and followed these amazing artists work and if you want to be inspired I encourage you to do the same!!!!
So many amazing photos right?!?! and this is just a handful. It is humbling to say the least.
Ok, ok, I will let you know how I did now.....I was pleasantly surprised with some of my placings, and am so grateful for this whole experience. They had 12 rounds, and eliminated photos between each round. I know this will sound cheesy, but I really do feel like I have won, because I gained so much from this contest, and feel like I have grown as an artist. 37 of the 50 I submitted placed in the top 30% or higher. Check out the details below. I am looking forward to next year. Thank you to everyone who put it on!