Best of the Best 2011

I’ve just returned from an incredible week in Texas with Foundation WorkshopAnna Kuperberg asked me to return as a staff member this year, serving on her  team as a volunteer mentor.  If you are familiar with her work, you know what a huge honor this is.  If you’re a documentary photographer needing to learn the nuts and bolts of photojournalism, I recommend investing in this intensive workshop.  You’ll not only leave with new eyes & ears, but a close-knit photo family.

At the Foundation Conference in New Orleans this past November, I was asked to speak briefly about my personal journey with branding as part of Kate Mefford‘s presentation on the subject.  Kate has a background in Psychology and in addition to being a talented portrait photog, she has a knack for diving into someone’s interests, desires & goals to find the perfect brand platform for their business.  If you’re in a rough place and need help with a branding overhaul, she’s a great resource.

Also at the Conference, my image of Mandy licking her champagne toasting glass placed in the top ten and was up against three others for the grand prize.  I went home with a generous gift courtesy of one of the best pro labs in the country, ProDPI.

Two other respected organizations have also honored my work this year:

Junebug weddings named me “Best of the Best” in their annual list of the 50 best wedding photographs of the year.  Photographers from around the world sent their best portfolio pieces from 2011.  One image was selected from each of the top 50 photographers out of the hundreds that submitted.  The judges chose the below from Josh & Ben’s Orcas Island wedding.

Nine of my images placed in Fearless Photographer competitions this year, landing me in a two-way tie as the top photographer in Seattle.  The three below were included in a list of the “99 Most Amazing Fearless Awards of 2011“.

All of this has taken a couple months to register, as I still don’t believe it.  To have your work recognized by your peers and grouped with some of the best photographers in the industry is a great compliment, but what I’m most grateful for are my clients.  They trust me to capture unique, telling moments that eschew the cookie cutter bullshit that comprises much of traditional wedding photography.  They dare to be open to something different.  Something honest, unexpected & uncontrollable.   They open up their selves, their lives, their families to let me capture who they really are as it happens.  It takes a great amount of trust & vulnerability to do and I thank them for it.

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