It all started on a Sunday, a few weeks back, with a text from my boyfriend, ‘the deadline for the photography competition at the fair is this Tuesday – you should enter.’

I thought about that for the next two days, and on Tuesday I bit the bullet and entered four of my images into the Tennessee State Fair Creative Arts Photography Competition. I had never entered into any type of print competition and, to be completely honest, the thought of it terrified me. No better time to start than with a competition that was right in front of me and no time to think about it and talk myself out of it.

I’m so happy that I entered and put myself out there. I fumbled around with my words and laughter (as I normally do when I get nervous) upon arriving to the fair and dropping off my prints for submission and as I walked out I wanted to throw up and cry all at the same time! It’s hard to explain, but I felt very vulnerable offering up images I loved to be judged.

Fast forward to this past Sunday night…my boyfriend, Patrick, his sister and my friend, Anna, and her husband, Scott and I enter the fair. I knew going into it that I had receive an honorable mention for my Portrait (Color) submission when I opened a text from the model herself, Daisy. She and our friends Molly and Morgan (who does make-up for my sessions, including the session from which this image was taken) had gone to check it out.
I’m so grateful for amazing friends that I’ve met since I’ve been here. As I wrote back a “yaaaaaaaay!” I quickly wrote again “don’t tell me anything else” – haha I’m so happy she sent this to me, I love having it, I love sharing it with her, even if I wasn’t with her at the time.

I was fighting a cold but couldn’t miss out on going to see what happened in the two weeks since I dropped off my prints. And as we turn the corner I hear them say “look!”
OMG I GOT A FIRST PLACE RIBBON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I was beyond thrilled! I couldn’t believe it. Me? ME! A first place?!
Then, to the next…
HM -1 HM
Yay! There’s that honorable mention (yes, I made an “H” LOL). I’m so happy…and then to see the other two images.
Landscape 2nd place landscape 2nd Place - effects - 1
No way?! Two second place ribbons?!

I was in shock. All four of my images had received an award and recognition. So unexpected. I was so happy to have put my prints out there that to see all of this was very overwhelming. I just kind of stood there looking around and hugging my boyfriend (who called me an award winning photographer for the rest of the night – swoon) and high-fiving Anna and Scott. What a fantastic experience. I’m so happy I put myself out there and didn’t let my fear get the best of me. Looking forward to next year, and more shooting!!

1st Place 2nd place landscape-1
2nd Place - effects HM_1

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