As we go through life, a lot of things change. Not just our physical looks, but our attitudes about life and what is important. When I got started in this business, I belonged to several professional organizations. These organizations set certain standards; and one of them was to create our best work and compete with other photographers both locally and nationally. This was really fun for me because I would consistently win or score very well in competitions.
Winning consistently was a big part of my receiving my Masters and Craftsmen Degrees from the PPA Professional Photographers of America at such an early age in terms of years of membership.
The photograph above represents the last portion of awards that were deposited to the dumpster this week. I do this not out of disrespect for the accomplishments, but as a reminder that this part of my life is behind me.
All in all, I think it's good to be in the throws of competition. It makes us sharper, better skilled and brings our work to recognized standards in our industry. It also gives us ideas we can share to get out of the occasional rut we find ourselves in. Today everyone with a cell phone is a photographer. I recommend that photographers in business today strive to be their best and to measure up to the standards that were set by the iconic photographers of our past.
Today I look at my work as still evolving, as it always will. In about a week I'll be going to one of my yearly pilgrimages in Dallas to study under a contemporary artist for five days and as usual, will come back with some nice surprises!
My motivation now is to work on my art and to make my portraits more artistic for the clients I serve. Digital has allowed those who master it, to do things that just 15 years ago would have been nearly impossible.