I’m not the only one who’s literally had HOURS of my life sucked into voting am I? This thing is addicting! I think it’s because it sort of feels like gambling- you never know when one of YOUR photos might pop up, so I keep telling myself “just one more round. Ok, two more. It’ll definitely come up in the next grouping!” It took me hours to choose my final set of images to submit, and it’s a huge thrill whenever I see that one of mine is still a contender!
For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, go HERE. The contest is the largest in the world, and there were more than 115,000 photos submitted this year! So naturally, the range of skill and talent is super varied, and I’ve actually discovered a lot about myself and my tendencies as I’ve been voting. Here’s what I’ve learned:
- I take way too many “bride looks down at her shoulder” photos. It seems to be a default for me when I can’t think of anything else to do, and the more photos I see pop up in the contest of a bride simply looking down for seemingly no reason, the more it’s turning me off. So this year, I know to make a more concerted effort to mix up my solo bride portraits!
- The colors of a film photo have no equal. I’m so glad I shoot anniversaries with a combination of film and digital!
- When it comes to the families and children categories, my favorite images are the ones where people are completely ignoring the camera. Kids being kids, dads and moms being goofy or playing pretend with their little ones.
- Fake “authentic” moments really turn me off! I promise to never try and force those again, because if I feel awkward viewing them, I can only imagine how my couples feel.
- I love things that make SENSE! If a photo doesn’t seem logical to me, I probably won’t vote for it. That’s my type A personality coming out, that is.
- I heart wide, epic shots. I should take more of those!
- If there is a: tulle skirt, set of twins or triplets, Harry Potter reference, or puppy in the image, I’m going to vote for it. Every time.
- If there is a: ballerina with under-developed technique, someone blowing glitter/snow/confetti at the camera, or a fake snow overlay, I’m not going to vote for it. Every time.
- Does it make me a total narcissist if I freak out and screen shot my images every time they pop up? Because I definitely do that.
- The simplest images are often my favorites! One of my favorite J&M sayings in regard to crazy photo techniques is “just because we CAN, doesn’t mean we should.” My favorite newborn images are the ones that show infants in settings that feel most natural- in their momma’s arms, or simply swaddled in a comfy blanket. The overly-manufactured, overly-processed, overly-posed images just aren’t my thing.
- Sometimes, I can’t tell if I’m voting for the content of the images (i.e. a gorgeous dress), or skill of the photographer who took the photo (i.e. how well they captured the light).
- I really want to shoot at Glacier National Park!
- Voting for my friends’ images is JUST as fun as seeing my own show up!
- Someday, I want to photograph a wedding where the reception takes place outside underneath hundred of cafe lights.
- If you ever feel the need to be taken down a few pegs, just sit and vote in the contest for a while. I’m overwhelmed by how much incredible talent there is in the photo world- it’s insane!
How about y’all? What are thing you find yourself gravitating toward as you vote?