You may know that every year, usually in the summertime, I rifle through my images from the year prior in search of the ones that I think might be worthy for submission to my two favorite image competitions. The exercise itself is really useful -- while you'd think I'd spend more time with the images I love after they're delivered, I tend to be busy with the next thing. It's good to revisit all the galleries and decide which ones I'd like to add to my portfolio or include in newsletters and blog posts and such. So, I do it.

It's always a boost when an image of mine places or gets recognition. These competition organizers are no dummies, either. The results tend to be released in late fall, JUST when most photographers are buried in editing queues and deliverables, yearning for the finish line (and maybe wondering why they've chosen a business that requires this many hours sitting at a computer!)


This week, winners of the ClickPro Voice Competition were announced a day apart and I had images recognized in BOTH competitions! AND, one of the images I submitted was recognized in both! Without being too braggy (I hope), may I present to you "Family Laughs", which earned Honorable Mention in the 2022 ClickPro Voice Competition, AND a Recognition of Merit in the 2022 NAPCP International Image Competition!

Another Honorable Mention in the Click Pro Voice Competition was this image. (Both were recognized in the "Real Life" category).

toddler trying to climb on kitchen counter like older sister

And the second image that earned Recognition in the NAPCP Image Competition (I call it "Rise and Shine"):

photo competition winner naacp sister waking up toddler brother in crib, photo taken from overhead

(Two contests, three images, four fancy badges. Is that a double whammy or a triple whammy? Or a quadruple?)

You can imagine how good this feels, right?

If you're not a photographer, and especially if you're a client of mine, I'd like to say something to you about this feeling. When I look at some of the (thousands of) photos that are submitted to these competitions yearly, I sometimes catch myself wondering what the HECK I'm thinking even entering. Seriously, there are some true photographic artists out there. I am NOT an artist. I do think I bring something to the table, and getting this kind of recognition makes my heart swell with gratitude at the thought that it's being seen.

What is it? Well, here's what I think. I think I've got a good eye for moments and a proficiency to work my camera quickly to capture those moments. Sure. But it's more than that. These are not my kids. Not my families. In order for these moments to happen while I'm there with my camera ready, I have to have the trust of the families I'm photographing. I could go on and on about how I communicate with and prepare my families to create this situation, but the bottom line is that my families are willing to take a chance the first time they hire me. So the gratitude that washes over me when I get this kind of recognition extends beyond my own hard work and that of the competition judges, right back to the families who make it possible. (I get to do this as my job!)

(I hope I'm not sounding too dramatic there, but hey - it's a feeling that's hard to articulate and if I can't parse it out here on my blog, where else can I do that?)

If you ARE a photographer, I encourage you to get involved in these two great photographic communities. Both the Click Community and the National Association of Professional Child Photographers (NAPCP) have been wonderful resources over the years for community, learning and recognition.

Check out the amazing 2022 Voice Competition Winners gallery HERE.

And the stunning 2022 NAPCP International Image Competition Winners HERE.

Thanks for looking,


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