Many of you who follow me on social media knew that last month and this month I was part of 2016 Shoot & Share photo contest. This was my second year entering this contest and this year there were 225,207 which was double what was last year so I knew the contest was going to be pretty amazing. Each photographer could enter up to 50 photos in 25 different categories. I primarily did the wedding based categories but also entered a few in a Toddlers/preschool, Wanderlust & Animal/pet category. Both the Wanderlust & Animal/pet categories were new this year and I had a few shots from my Africa trip 9 years ago I wanted to submit. Here are all 50 of my images I submitted this year:
What makes this contest so great and what I didn’t noticed till this year is seeing the progression in my work and how much I improved from last years contest to this years. And it’s already given me the drive to push myself even harder for this year striving to make my work better & grow as a photographer. Why I love this contest is it’s the most unbiased photography contest out there. The voter is given 4 photos from the same category and they pick the best out of the 4. That’s it, there is no names and no watermarks allowed so unless you know the photo you have no idea who took it. It’s completely based on the work itself which I feel makes it the fairest contest out there. And to make things even more challenging you have no idea how each photo is doing until the very end or if you have people who send you screenshots of your photos they have scene which is what most of my photographer friends & I would do for each other. The only way I know if you still have a photo in the contest is if your hearts go up…. each voter can “heart” their favorite photo out of the set so they can go back and see whose photo it was. I ended up doing a lot of voting & gave a lot of hearts out over 1600 to be exact. If I knew the photo I wanted to see how it did at the end and if I didn’t know the photo but just liked it I plan to go follow the photographer on social media for future inspiration.
As each round ends they eliminate more and more photos making it easier to see your own work if it was still in but also making it harder to vote because the photos kept getting better & better as the rounds got higher and higher. By round 9 they had it down to 13,161 which was super exciting since in the 2015 Shoot & Share contest I only made it to round 8. At round 10 they got it down to 8,014 images which meant there was 3.5-7% of the top photos left in the contest and I knew of 3! After the official contest was over they did a few days of the best of the best only having the top 100 images from each category for people to vote on. There were my 3 photos:
I was so shocked to learn this since there was over a quarter of a million photos to start and these three had made it to the top 100 for their categories. After they released all the winners they released how everyone did and this is how I know where my photos placed. I ended up having a 15 others photos that finished in top 10-30% of the contest. to see all my photos results check out my profile here.
I just wanted to thank the Shoot & Share staff for doing this free contest each year the opportunities it brings for us to see new artist is wonderful and to also give us the chance to see our growth as artist is amazing too. I can’t wait for next year where I am hoping to make it again to the top 100 and hopefully have one make it to the top 20 photos!