Last year I found out about a photography contest called "Shoot & Share". It is an amazing contest which is completely anonymous, making it truly about the art. Everyone gets to vote and let me warn you now, voting is addictive! You are shown random groups of 4 images in varying categories and you pick your favorite. I can't tell you how many times I thought, I will vote on one more and be done... only to still be voting 20 minutes later.
Viewing the images in this contest last year was inspiring and I remember setting a goal for myself to one day submit my work to Shoot and Share. As this year’s contest was getting underway, I was not going to submit any of my work. I will admit it, I was intimidated. The thought of putting my work out there for all to see, let alone vote on, was scary. I waited until the final day of submissions and put my big girl pants on and decided there is no time like the present. Why put off for tomorrow what I can do today.
Each photographer can enter up to 50 photos. I picked 20 of my favorite images from the year, placed them in their appropriate categories and hit the submit button. I was instantly energized. Excited to think that I may see one of my images while voting. Anxious to be inspired like I was last year.
The contest lasts for 12 rounds with photos with the least amount of votes eliminated each round. This year there were a total of 332,768 photos entered. As each round progressed, the excitement continued to build. I set a goal for my first year of submitting... placing in the top 20%. My expectations were recently blown out of the water when I received an email letting me know that I am a Finalist! At least one of my images made it to the top 3.5% of images. I am so humbled and honored that my work made it to the finals. I cannot wait for specific stats to be released so I can see how far individual images made it in the contest.
I am glad I stepped out of the comfort zone and put myself out there. I will definitely be entering again next year.