Third place isn’t so bad!
A couple of months ago, I saw a post on Charingworth Manor Facebook page about a photo contest they were holding.
Cool! Let’s learn some more about this!
I contacted the promoters, a PR firm from London, and got the rules. Essentially, I could enter a maximum of THREE total photos that addressed one of two categories: “Charingworth Manor scenes” or “Cotswolds Life“.
OFF TO FIND PHOTOS!
A Quick Note: I’m not a professional photographer by ANY means, but I really enjoy taking pictures, especially when we’re on vacation in different areas of the country or world. So, knowing that I had (literally) over a thousand photos from that recent England vacation, I figured “what the heck?” – and decided to go for it!
So – first thing is to mentally remember all of my photos. I just *knew* that I had some that would meet those contest category requirements!
Looking through my England 2015 photos, I realized that this was going to be even more difficult than I thought. It wasn’t going to be tough finding photos that I liked, but rather narrowing down my choices to “just three”!If you’ve seen the travel journal, then you know we had 11 days in England – 8 of them at Charingworth in the Cotswolds.
This was going to be a harder job than I originally thought. Ha!
So – I narrowed it down to a few dozen that I really liked and thought would be good. Then, with a critical eye, started tossing out ones that were either “just not good enough”, “essentially duplicates”, or (and this was probably the toughest part) “photos that weren’t unique”.
In other words, on that last criteria, I tossed from contention some good “head on” Charingworth Manor shots that I knew other people were going to submit, too! If I’m limited to three photos total, I want mine to stand out as unique from everyone else!
I narrowed it down to six that I really really liked… then started the opinion process! Kathy and LeAnn were fairly consistent on their inputs… John and Marianne had theirs!
In the end, these were the three that I submitted for the contest.
The first, with Kathy and LeAnn looking out our rooms, which were directly above each other at Charingworth. This was a neat picture because of the ivy covering the beautiful Charingworth stone and framing the windows so well, but also that you had two beautiful girls looking out these charming English windows!
The second was my iconic “Cotswolds scene” entry. I had a number of “sheep photos”, but figured this one with the momma and her babies, with the *lush* green grass around them, just screamed “Cotswolds!”
The third was one of my favorites – the view from our Charingworth bedroom window. The weather there, even when it rained a little, was so pleasant. We really enjoyed sleeping with the windows open, and waking up to this scene with a cool breeze on a sunny morning was one of the best memories of the entire vacation!
I submitted my images earlier in the summer and went about my business… I had kinda lost lock on it, until I received an email from the PR company running the contest with an invitation to the photo contest judging and award ceremony.
Hmmm… that’s kinda cool. I asked the PR rep if that meant that one of my photos was in the “top 12” (as they were making a calendar for charity based on the top 12 photos from the contest). He said that he was “not at liberty to tell me that”.
Heh. Right. Gotcha.
Since I was, of course, not going to be able to make the ceremony, I got permission to pass the invitation off to John and Marianne to attend in my place!
So the day of the contest rolls around (yesterday, September 17, 2015), and mid-day (my time here in the US), I start getting emails from John with various photos attached. The first one showed the list of photos at the final presentation (32 of ’em!) – ALL THREE OF MY PHOTOS made the cut!
Other photos showed my entries, nicely printed and mounted in mattes, along with some of the competition! There were definitely some nice shots out there!
The judges for this contest included the Head of Creative Arts at Stratford College, a couple of Creative Directors from local media firms, senior executives from Classic Lodges (parent company of Charingworth Manor), and the Charingworth Managing Director.
As the photos from John started showing more and more “entertainment”, I told him that he had to stay upright long enough to give my acceptance speech. 🙂
Suddenly… the email came.
I GOT THIRD PLACE!
I was honored to be selected *at all* in the top 12 (for the calendar), but to get third place was a nice and flattering surprise.
I haven’t heard yet who the other “top 12” photos are … so, I guess technically, I have a shot at one of those slots, too! 🙂
Now – to contact the PR firm and order a few calendars.
Do I go ahead and add International Award-Winning Photographer™ to my resume? (snicker)