If you’ve been paying attention, you know that I’ve been publishing articles about photography on the Internet since 1998. I’ve tried to share what I know about photography thinking that maybe I could help someone. I write and post about photography here at Photofocus 365 days a year. On Christmas, on New Year’s Day, on Thanksgiving, it doesn’t matter. There’s always a post and I always, always, always hope it will help someone.
Sure – I get plenty of trolls stopping by to spew hate, but that doesn’t ever stop the presses here. Because I am old enough and wise enough to know that the majority of my audience is enjoying what I do. And every once in a while, there’s a tangible result. There’s proof positive that what I do here at Photofocus matters.
This week, Bryan sent me the following email. With his permission, I”m going to share it with all of you.
On New Years day when you informed me of being a finalist in the emerging photographer contest, I was unemployed with 30 days to figure out how I was going to keep my wife and two young children in our home.
I didn’t realize how big the impact of the exposure I got as a result of the contest would be. I didn’t realize what it would do for me and my family. It gave an unsure potential client the confidence needed to hire me. It gave me the chance I desperately needed. It was truly the first domino that fell. The six months that have followed have been the most exciting and rewarding of my life. I am taking care of my family and doing what I always thought was a dream….telling stories by traveling the world shooting video and stills with my Canon. Seriously…I can’t believe it.
Thank you for providing me with the tools, experiences and exposure needed to make this life changing event happen. Scott Bourne forever ;)”
He sent along these photos of his wife and children. And while the “Scott Bourne forever” was a bit over the top even for me, the fact that the contest brought Bryan some much-deserved success was all I needed to hear.
I devised this contest for one simple reason. I am inundated with great work here at Photofocus and elsewhere. I was on the road about 300 days last year and every single one of them, I met a photographer who had work that took my breath away. I wanted those people to get some recognition. Granted, I don’t have the audience of a national TV show like American Idol, but I do have several hundred thousand people interacting with this site, the podcast, the social media stuff, etc., and I’m glad I can bring at least SOME attention to these fine photographers.
Other finalists have sent me similar notes. And not all of them experienced the same success as Bryan. But all of them at least got SOME exposure. Hopefully some of them will still benefit even more, since their names and links to their work are published here every two weeks.
I am thrilled to see that the contest brought some modicum of success to someone. It proves that everything you read on the Internet isn’t true. Just yesterday some guy told me “Contests are for losers – we should be supporting each other not competing.” Well, I don’t think that Bryan considers himself a loser – not by a long shot. And as for supporting each other, I don’t know how to support other photographers any better than by showing their work.
Congratulations to Bryan and all the finalists. We’re coming down to the wire and this summer will be announcing the winner.
I’m grateful that I get to be a very small part of it. I’m also grateful for all the fine sponsors who chipped in with thousands of dollars worth of photo product to give the lucky winner. I can’t wait!
Sponsored by PMA – It’s not too early to mark your calendar because this is big. For the first time in the USA, the PMA tradeshow and conference will be open to the general public – September 6-11, 2011 in Las Vegas. See you there – http://bit.ly/9yaL2I