I was hoping to win and I did!!! But let me go back to a year ago...
In June, my husband gave me my first camera for my birthday, and I couldn't figure out how to work it for about a month. Then I needed a quiet place with enough scenery to practice my shooting. St. Agnes cemetery was nearby and off I went to practice different techniques. While there I saw a flyer advertising their photo contest and in July 2011 I've submitted my entry, eager like any beginner. The judging wasn't till October, but I just couldn't wait, because I gave them my best photo yet!
By September 2011, I cursed myself for rushing because I got better and the photo I've submitted looked like a joke to me. Needless to say, I didn't win anything. But I went to the announcement and looked at other peoples submissions - some were absolutely breathtaking.
Either way, I had another year to look forward to. And although I fell in love with the neighboring Albany Rural cemetery, I went back to St. Agnes every month to look for a potential shot. During those times I found my favorite angel statue but had very weak ideas on how to present it the best, until one day I knew exactly how I wanted that photo to look.
I went to the cemetery, found my angel, got out of the car, took 3 shots and was done. I processed it and loved it! My good friend and mentor Paul looked it over, approved and with his blessing I've submitted my entry for St. Agnes Cemetery's 2012 Contest.
So today, I was happy to hear my name called as the recipient of the second place and $300 prize. Did I wish I took first place? Of course, but I am happy to have improved this much.
As I was leaving, the director of the cemetery called my name, wishing to ask me something. She told me that although the judging panel awarded first place to another person, whose picture gets to be used in publications and promotional materials for the cemetery, her favorite photo was mine. She then asked if I'd be willing to allow the cemetery to use my photo for their promotional needs regardless of my second placement which will help me promote my photography business.
Nothing but good things. Thank you to all of my supporters (my family and friends), my mentors and critics, and my former and future clients!