I hurriedly rushed home from an important meeting, it was 6pm and the clock was ticking…I had just six hours to gather some images, edit them to perfection and submit into the WPPI competition. For six straight hours I worked my booty off and barely made it. As the final image uploaded, I breathed a sigh of relief. I felt good. Not because I thought my images were amazing, just the fact that I had made the effort to put myself in the game.
Do you ever want to compare yourself with the best photographers in the world? Having a successful photography business doesn’t necessarily translate into being a great photographer. If a photographer wanted to see where they stack up against other great photographers, I highly recommend entering any WPPI competition. Photographers from all over the world enter and the competition is very stiff. In fact this competition was one of the hardest with over 3200 entries. Although this competition is not the definitive ruler for measuring a persons photographic skill, it is a good gauge. It always feels nice when our clients, friends and family give us high praise for our imagery but if we want an honest appraisal of our work, entering a competition with world wide participation is a great start to see how we stack up against our peers.
The past three times I’ve entered, I’ve won a major award- i.e. first, second or third place. This time I did win 12 awards which is a great accomplishment but I didn’t take home a major award. I’m a little disappointed in myself, not that I didn’t win a major award but because I know I didn’t put forth my very best effort. After winning over 60 awards, I am very aware of what quality level wins awards and I know how to create it but the disappointing aspect was I simply didn’t put a lot of thought, vision, creativity and effort into this group of images I submitted. I don’t want to seem like a snob or look down on those who won awards but I compete against myself and I bet those who know me best probably know that these award winning images do not represent my potential. I failed to really challenge myself.
Potential and Lessons Learned
Most of these images only took me a few minutes to shoot but I really want to know what kind of images I can produce if I gave it some serious thought, not just 5 minutes but perhaps a month, maybe even a year! I haven’t reached my potential but I plan to create some images that I can feel really proud of in 2012. Please keep me accountable. Life gets so hectic sometimes, it is easy to throw aside my art because it is so hard to pay our bills now a days. An excuse never makes the situation better, it is just a lie we tell ourself.
I need to discover my full potential, not for another prestigious award but for myself and for those who enjoy my work, my clients, those I teach- they deserve to see my very best, just like I expect the photographers I teach to produce their very best.
“There is a valid excuse for everything in life, but those who refuse to have one succeed the most” Scott Robert Lim
I hope you enjoy these images but I want you to know, this is just a per-curser to another level that I want to show, something from deep within, images that touch the soul…no excuses allowed.