I love taking photos, always have and always will. I love showing off my work and I still get a kick out of showing it to someone new!
I am in a lot of photography groups on Facebook. They are full of support, ideas and are one big community where you can get as much information as you need. Whatever questions you may have about the technical side of everything, any queries that you have about anything really. That is where I heard about a group that does a free competition, in fact, it was a photography company that offers mentor-ship, training and business advice as well as it's yearly competition. The best thing about this competition is that is is judged solely on the votes of other photographers around the world. The entrees were split into around 25 categories and there were 12 rounds of voting! The voting screen was 4 images and you chose your favourite one and you only knew if your images were still going if you got an email saying that someone had liked it! Oh, it was so thrilling!!
But, there were downsides to it all that we all can relate to. Have you ever heard of impostor syndrome? Impostor Syndrome is a psychological pattern where you take your accomplishments, your victories and everything that you are good at and along with a constant internalized worry you doubt everything and fear that you will be revealed as a fraud. Even on my best days i still feel like a total and utter fraud sometimes... and this was exactly how I felt during this competition! The level of work was astonishing, some of the best work by the best photographers in the world... and little old me!
The 2020 contest was a little different, well everything about 2020 is a little different to say the least!
I am not going to give the full gory details of what happened as I don't want to give a voice to such vile actions and I don't want to go over it again. Something was said, it was gross and completely unethical and uncaring.. more words were said, it got worse, the people in question doubled down on their position and by doing so lost all credibility they had. Sponsors pulled out, well known established photographers with huge followings cut all ties with them and those who had spent the last month voting wanted to withdraw their images from the competition.
I was really excited for the results. I wanted to know where my images had placed and which one of them made it the furthest, but everything felt icky. The whole competition had been tainted and celebrating my successes from it just felt wrong as I didn't want to be associated with them at all. I had a long chat with Steve about this and he asked why i felt that way and why I shouldn't. He pointed out that I spent hours, absolutely hours voting and that so did everyone else that had voted. The results were based on those votes and not on the people that were responsible for the problems so I should celebrate them.
I will not be sharing these on my main business page, but will share it on my VIP page.
The images show the round the image got to and the number that they placed. The above one of Boe placed 14,837 of 38,114 images!