Shoot and Share and Why I Submit My Work | Orlando Fine Art Photographer

I submit my work. I submit images for critique to online professional forums. I submit work to online magazines. I submit work to competitions. Getting feedback and seeing how my work resonates with viewers - both other professionals and just the general public, pushes me as an artist. Sometimes I even tag a lens company when I get an amazing shot with their product. 

This spring I submitted 50 images to the Shoot and Share Contest. My 50 went into a pile of over 1.1 million submissions. For several weeks, people from around the world voted on these photos. Anyone, anywhere can vote in this contest. Professional photographers, for sure, but also kids and grandmas and lots of ordinary people. Voting is anonymous and super simple. Four images appear on your screen. You click your favorite. That's it. You can vote as many times as you'd like. And with 1.1 million images, there's really no way to rig the contest. I could get all my friends and family to vote for hours, and they might never see one of my photos.

In the end, over 81 million votes were cast, and 17 of my photos received awards. Two were even finalists.

Finalist, Creative/Personal Projects, 13,502 total entries

Finalist, Creative/Personal Projects, 13,502 total entries

Finalist, Passion Projects, 1,998 total entries

Finalist, Passion Projects, 1,998 total entries

This is a different kind of contest. It's not necessarily the most technically correct or the most artistically amazing photos that win. No one is evaluating them that closely. It's just 4 photos. . . Click. . . four more. . . click. In the end, I call it a "first impression" contest. You just have a few seconds to wow the viewer, and beat out the other three photos for that click.

Because of that, it's important to choose photos with a "Wow" factor or images that evoke strong emotion. Color seems to win over black and white. Images that require some analyzing to truly appreciate them often get knocked out in the early rounds of the contest. 

Top 10%, People Portraits, 14, 733 total entries

Top 10%, People Portraits, 14, 733 total entries

Top 10%, People Portraits, 14, 733 total entries

Top 10%, People Portraits, 14, 733 total entries

Top 10%, Teens & Seniors, 29,460 total entries

Top 10%, Teens & Seniors, 29,460 total entries

Top 10%, Creative/Personal Projects, 13,502 total entries

Top 10%, Creative/Personal Projects, 13,502 total entries

Top 10%, Travel / Landscape, 16,373 total entries

Top 10%, Travel / Landscape, 16,373 total entries

Top 10%, Pets / Animals, 14,426 total entries

Top 10%, Pets / Animals, 14,426 total entries

Top 10%, Pets / Animals, 14,426 total entries

Top 10%, Pets / Animals, 14,426 total entries

Top 10%, Creative/Personal Projects, 13,502 total entries

Top 10%, Creative/Personal Projects, 13,502 total entries

Top 20%, People Portraits, 14, 733 total entries

Top 20%, People Portraits, 14, 733 total entries

Top 20%, Teens & Seniors, 29,460 total entries

Top 20%, Teens & Seniors, 29,460 total entries

Top 20%, Pets / Animals, 14,426 total entries

Top 20%, Pets / Animals, 14,426 total entries

Top 30%, Teens & Seniors, 29,460 total entries

Top 30%, Teens & Seniors, 29,460 total entries

Top 30%, Travel / Landscape, 16,373 total entries

Top 30%, Travel / Landscape, 16,373 total entries

Top 30%, Pets / Animals, 14,426 total entries

Top 30%, Pets / Animals, 14,426 total entries

The voters have spoken! Over 81 million times! I probably wasted way too many hours voting, and probably obsessed just a little too much while waiting on the results. But it sure feels good to see which images the voters liked the most. And that some of my personal favorites were their favorites too is just icing on the cake!

Top 30%, Pets / Animals, 14,426 total entries

Top 30%, Pets / Animals, 14,426 total entries

Stormy Beach Day - Impromptu Shoot | Orlando Senior and Fine Art Photographer

One big plus of living in Central Florida is proximity to the beach. A quick 40 minute drive, and we are feeling the sand between our toes, meaning we don't have to wait for perfect weather. We can enjoy the beach on cold, stormy days, and we mostly have it all to ourselves.

stormy beach teen portrait-6.jpg

We always, always, always take a soccer ball to the beach! Always.

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stormy beach teen portrait-1.jpg
stormy beach landscape-1.jpg

That sky. Moments after I shot this, the heavens opened and poured rain. I grabbed my camera bag, wrapped in a beach towel for extra protection, and headed for the car -- leaving my girls to gather up the beach blanket and chair and other bags. Beautiful stormy beach day.

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