I have a group of photography friends with whom years ago we decided we would “go for our Master’s” together. In our local Professional Photographer’s of America group, it was hard to keep the Masters interested in coming to our meetings, so we decided to educate ourselves, raise the bar and become Masters ourselves. Well, it’s good to have a goal and it sure is good to have friends like these, because of the support and friendship that have bouyed us on our journey. Photography is most often a solitary profession, with photo sessions and client meetings being a small percent of our daily work. The work of running a business and doing all the magic behind the curtain for our clients takes a lot of alone time. So to have a group of friends who understand what it is like, to pull you out of burnout, to bring you up when you are discouraged and to celebrate your successes is invaluable. Well, partly because of this group of friends I’ve just met a goal I’ve had since 2006; to earn my professional Master’s degree from the Professional Photographer’s of America. Wait, wait! I actually haven’t “received” the degree yet, but I have scored enough points through International Print Competition, service and education to apply for it. To give you an idea of what this means, I explained it to my son this way. Momma just got her black belt in photography. 🙂
What does this mean, you may ask. Does it matter for my business, or my clients? It matters because the critiques I have received on my work have made me learn and try harder next time. That is really what it comes down to…the Trying. It is not easy to earn a print merit, but you have to try. To take your best image, to finesse it and present it and enter it, to try. That trying makes me better for my clients and my business. I feel relieved and proud of this accomplishment and never fear, I am already wondering what’s next? 🙂
Thank you to my clients, family and friends, new and old for supporting me on this endeavor. No one goes it alone. Gratitude to Lisa Evans who first saw my potential and Carol Andrews who believed in me from the start. This journey has no shortage of mentors, all valued deeply. My deep and heartfelt thanks to my photography friends who are with me on this journey to our Masters. Thank you for having my back. I also have yours. And one more thing to add. WOO-HOO!!!
The first three images in this post were given merit awards in the Professional Photographer’s of America International Print Competition 2013. At this point I only needed two more merits which I then received at the PPA Western States Print Competition last week! WOO-HOO! 🙂