I feel so fortunate! I've worked hard and reaped the benefits.
I was proud when I found out I won a scholarship to attend a Dale Carnegie course- so happy - but then just a few days later, I got a personal phone call from Professional Photographers of America (www.ppa.com) congratulating me on my image-"Early Morning Catch" being accepted into the prestigious Loan Collection.
This is a huge honor-my first image to be accepted! Only the best of the best make it into this International Collection out of thousands of entries. It will be on display at PPA's Annual Convention in Atlanta, GA. January 2013 - Not to mention, it'll be published in a much anticipated Loan Collection Book filled with such great photographer's works, my peers.
I'd been waiting for weeks to get the results of half a year of of hard work creating four images that would get potentially get the highest professional honors in our industry- From competing at the State level in Virginia back in the end of February, where six images received the prized blue ribbons and a few red ribbons- to the District competition, SEPPA, South East PPA where only four of those six of those images moved on-- that included such great states as Georgia and Florida in competition together - resulting in one coveted Seal- (It's either a Seal or nothing at this point) which becomes a guaranteed merit at the International level competition. All this work to finally enter the final four at IPC - International Photography Competition held each year- where a jury of affiliated judges decide the best of the best. You can Merit - which means your image met the requirements of the 12 Elements of a Merit Image and then you can go Loan (and get two Merits) where your image is deemed the creme' de la creme!
This was my second year of competing. The last time I competed was back in high school, back in 1988-where I won Best of Show and numerous other ribbons.
It wasn't until I moved to Virginia, two years ago in the end of October, that I decided to enter competition.
You may remember that last year, I won all sorts of awards at VPPA and then received the Kodak Gallery Award for my "Tie A Yellow Ribbon" puppy.
At IPC 2011- I received three merits out of four of my prints. These merits accumulate over the years to help me earn a degree as a Master Photographer which is a goal I'd like to reach by 2014.
This image of Lily at the beach - titled "Soft Serenity" earned me a proud merit towards my Degree
As well as my puppy portrait of Norman, titled: "Ear's Looking At You":
But Norman's merit was extra special since I was informed he was selected for the Showcase Collection!!
This Collection of photographs are chosen from those that didn't go Loan- 1 or more judges felt is should go Loan and voted for their selections,
so Norman will have a place of honor in the Showcase Collection book of 2012!
I'm still in a daze about my successes... I know I worked hard for them and feel like I deserve them, but still it's a nice surprise.
Now, to start thinking about which images to choose so I can earn more merits in 2013!
E-n-E Photography, Images by Erin L. Clark