I am overjoyed to announce that I was named the 2013 Tallahassee Photographer of the Year and that Olyn was named to the Top Three Tallahassee Photographers by the Tallahassee Professional Photographers Guild (TPPG). Of all the awards we have won, these really mean the most. These awards are based solely on the quality of our images as judged by our colleagues. Each month, we compete in a print competition where local Tallahassee photographers vote to select the best print in eight separate categories. We also compete in a formal competition that is scored by a panel of three trained photographic judges. The results of these competitions is what determines who is the Tallahassee Photographer of the Year.
This is the third time I have won the title, with Olyn winning one of his own as well. We have also been named to the top three several times. These awards are ones we display proudly in our studio as they are so humbling to win. Tallahassee has so many amazing artists who belong to TPPG and we feel so honored to not only be in their company but to have their respect for our work.
We first joined the Guild in 2008 and instantly realized what an amazing local resource it was. Through TPPG, we have learned more than we ever thought possible about art and business, we have made enduring friendships, we have given and received support and guidance and we have celebrated the successes of so many in our community. It is truly a family that loves, supports and guides its members through an ever-changing industry.
From many newer photographers, I often hear them express fear and hesitation of joining the guild or of entering print competition. I know its easy to sit on this side of the situation and scoff at that fear, but I completely and totally understand it. I had sweaty palms walking into my first meeting. I thought no one would want me there. I thought I would throw up when I entered my first print in competition. I thought I would die if anyone critiqued my work and pointed out the flaws. But… the most shocking thing happened- I was welcomed. I was encouraged. I was mentored. I received guidance.
The impact TPPG made on my art and my business is undeniable. Now, I stand on the side of the long term guild member and want to invite new members to come to our meetings, join our ranks and partake in this awesome resource that we have available! I promise we won’t hurt you, we won’t ridicule you and you will be welcomed with open arms!
Now, if you have managed to read this novel of a post, let me share some of the winning images from this awesome year!