So many good things are going on! (I feel like the photography version of Martha Stewart) I have a number of recent developments that I'd like to share! Within the PPoC (Professional Photographers of Canada) there are ways to attain an 'accreditation' in certain fields or genres of photography. I submitted for my fifth accreditation in April, and I received it. This particular accreditation was for Environmental Family Photography. In lay-person's terms, this is outside-of-the-studio family photography. It is always exciting to have my work favorably and professionally-judged. I was required to submit 10 different images, of ten different subjects in 10 different sessions and they each had to pass the scrutiny of the judges.
Below is one of the images that was accepted as part of this accreditation submission.
I was also very fortunate to be able to qualify to participate in the judging clinic at our National Convention in Vancouver in April. I am now a qualified image competition judge. It was extremely eye-opening and I learned a ton! I love learning!
I just received some fantastic news! I entered my annual National Image Competition for the Professional Photographers of Canada and I had three images that were recognized. One of the reasons I'm so excited is that these merit points that I earn alongside this recognition will allow me to receive my MPA (Masters of Photographic Arts) designation next Spring. These designations are only awarded once a year. I just received my CPA and I will be training to become a print judge. I earned my CPA very quickly and I will be receiving my MPA one year after that. These designations are difficult to earn. In my association they have great meaning to the skill level and dedication the photographer has.
Here are my winning images!
The world's heart is heavy today as the news of the massacre in an elementary school in Connecticut has surfaced with the tragic details in-tow. There is no way to make sense of this, which is probably why my artist's heart is having a very difficult time digesting it. I tend to let more in - feel deeper - as I've been cultivating my creativity. I soak the world in around me. At times like this feeling deeper, hurts deeper.
I was born and raised in the U.S. and this violent act could have easily have happened anywhere in the U.S. This is an image of some of my nieces and nephews. When I heard about what happened, my thoughts turned to gratitude that my family members are ok, but then despair, knowing 26 families will never be complete again. 20 sets of parents don't have a little child to hug or read a story to before they go to bed tonight. I hurt for those families. This world can feel so evil sometimes. Everyone is asking, in vain - WHY?!?
I am not making this a political issue as I have family on both sides of the "gun" issue and out of respect for those precious little lives lost - arguing and debating does absolutely nothing because the political world is unable to offer answers for this. Those who want to strip guns away from citizens altogether, or those who want to arm everyone to the teeth in the name of "safety for all" - will never find the answers for this. Why? Because they have "band-aid" political agendas that ignore the heart of the issues.
I want children everywhere to know nothing but kindness, honesty and sincerity. I want everyone to know what it feels like to be treasured and then turn that feeling into service, kindness and caring for someone else. I want them to know a society who has the greater good at heart, rather than a "me-first" attitude. Children everywhere need to know that they are the world's greatest resource and the biggest blessing to those around them because they are allowed to be exactly who they were made to be. They know that they are enough and they are uniquely gifted to bless the world in a way no one else can. Those children will grow up protecting the generation after them rather than hurting them.
We need to inspire rather than legislate. We need to love others rather than argue. Violence never quieted more violence. Love, caring and friendship shared grows. There's no way to legislate love. That has to come one person at a time, one home at a time. Change can come without a single congressional session. Change can come without an expensive and exhausting election. Change can come without a single argument. Change can come so simply from the inside out as we are examples and we reach out and teach, love and serve those within our sphere of influence.
For the past nine years, since I started my photography business, summers have been very busy for me. For a while, we took our family vacation in the fall...which was marvelous - but as the kids got older it got harder and harder to pull them out of school. We still desperately need that time away as a family, so we have been doing it in the form of day trips, or overnights. This time we went to Glacier National Park in Montana. I love exploring the natural world. It is so beautiful, and to express my creativity using a lightbox and a tube (i.e., camera and a lens) with nature as my canvas is wonderful. We didn't do anything too strenuous, or didn't have crazy schedules, so this "Trail of the Cedars" was just the ticket. It is a gorgeous little loop (that is even wheelchair accessible) that takes you through a cedar forest and by scenes like this. It was our ultimate pleasure to be there.
So much has been going on that I don't even know where to begin...so I will just begin. I cannot guarantee the next posts will be in order, but I will try to get it all in somehow.
I love writing and I have missed it in the interest of getting things done. I'm excited to be back in the saddle and expressing why I do what I do, sharing my vision and love for this world, my work, and the amazing people that I get to photograph. (I still cannot believe that I get to do this for my job.)
Our Waterton Calendar was printed and we sold 24% of our stock in the first 24 hours. The calendars continue to be purchased and the interest is growing. We've been advertising and staying in close contact with our vendors (shops in Waterton, Chapters in Lethbridge, Wall Decor and More and Chinook Tourism here in Lethbridge.
I have been spending every spare Saturday (which has been hard to come by) hiking in Waterton for those gorgeous images for NEXT year's calendar. We wanted to get more off the road images, so we are hoofing it with heavy packs on our backs and bringing the artistry of the high mountain lakes to you. I'm super excited about what we have captured so far. I dragged my kids with my last weekend on two hikes that totaled 20 kms. (Everytime I get restless about them computer gaming, I plan a hike- gotta get them outside!!!) I find it so peaceful and soul-filling being in the mountains and spending that time with friends and family. I have more hikes planned, and I'm so excited to be using my artistic eye in this fashion!
This image was taken at 5:30 in the morning as sunrise struck. When sunrise happens the photographer has literally five minutes of photographing time, so you must be ready to rock and roll at the perfect time. We had to leave home at 4:00 in the morning to get there in time. We were photographing a bride and groom early that morning... images will be shared in an upcoming post!
I challenge everyone this summer, whether it is Waterton or not - GET OUTSIDE! It is heaven!