The good, the bad & the gratification. | Charlottesville Virginia Wedding Photographer Sarah Houston Photography

With the shoot and share contest currently going on it brings back the hope of possibly winning the grand prize. It also brings back the dreaded feeling of....I'm most likely NOT going to win...again. This is the second year I've entered in the contest and honestly I am questioning myself why I did it, just like last year. There are SO MANY incredibly talented artists entered into the contest this year! Last year I came close...with most of my photos as finalists or in the top 10%, but it was such a disappointment (& huge blow to my self esteem) when not ONE of my photos won first place. This year I was thinking the same thing-what if my photos don't place anything....what if I don't win?? I was basing my worth as a photographer on a contest that doesn't truly matter. Brides aren't going to look to see if I won first place or grand prize on a photography contest, they are more interested in whether or not I capture their day the way they envision.  

If you don't place/win the contest, it's OK. I'll be right there with you I'm sure! It doesn't mean you aren't a good photographer or that your work isn't good enough....if you still have brides inquiring with you and wanting to work with you-that speaks louder then winning some contest. The same goes with publication. We ALL want to see our work featured, it's that gratification that soothes our need for recognition. If your work doesn't get featured...pick yourself up and keep trying, that blog may not be a good fit for the work your submitting! 

It's hard being in an industry where you need the "likes" the "hearts" and the gratification to feel like you've "made it" but honestly there's more to it than that-it's having a bride cry when she receives her gallery, album or canvas. It's those moments that matter the most, it's the moments between you and your couples-the connection that is more important then followers or fans. 

So keep this in mind when you are feeling down about not making it in the contest or not being featured on some bridal blog...THIS MOMENT does not define you as an artist, it's what you do with the outcome of it that makes you. So you can either give up and be upset, or you can pick yourself up and improve & try again.

Stay Fabulous-xoxo,

Sarah