December 17th, 2013

Photographer of the Year!

Photo by Stephanie - Catchlight Portraits

Last night was a big night for me - the Austin Professional Photographers Association awarded me the 2013 Photographer of the Year! This is such a major milestone for me as a photographer. This award is so meaningful because of the process behind it. First, let me tell you a little about the Professional Photographers Association (PPA). The PPA is a non-profit organization started in 1869 by professional photographers growing to over 25,000 members today. The Austin PPA is the local affiliate that holds monthly meetings with speakers and print competitions. Local photographers bring their best prints to each monthly meeting and members vote anonymously - so there's no opportunity for a popularity contest and evaluation is done by member photographers. It's a great form of peer review. Points are awarded based on the voting and ribbons are awarded to the top point recipients. I entered 8 out of the 10 competitions in 2013 and received six first place ribbons and one third place ribbon. Points are awarded based on the ribbons and a annual tally of the results determines the award for Photographer of the Year. I'm extremely proud of this accomplishment because it is based on a large body of work - and work it was! I could have never done it alone - I received so much encouragement from those around me as well as participation from wonderful stylists like Allison Lowery and Zoraima Pelaez. I've also had the pleasure of working with amazing models like Josephine McAdam, Eleya Mullins, Sarah Pruitt, Keli Jasso, Sabrina Lotfi and my own beautiful daughter, Ashley. I always said, "to be successful, stand on the shoulders of giants" and all of these people are remarkable giants.  Most of all, I have my girlfriend, Francie, to thank for believing in my photography way before I did. Thank you all for your support and encouragement - I could have never achieved this without you!