Award Winning Photographer, Julie Tauro
Sigh, I have always wondered what it would feel like to write that about myself.
It feels kinda nice! ha!
I entered an image competition this past August and I won some hardware (as in trophies!! I seriously have not won a trophy or anything else since I was on the teen curling championship team in Williamsford in 1983!) So yeah, I am gonna talk about it a bit. Why not, am I right?
I am an active member in the Professional Photographers of Canada. I have been on the executive of the Western Ontario Branch for a little over a year now. Last year, the executive decided that we would all enter into the two image competitions the PPOC sponsors in Ontario. At the first one in April, I was a total bust…didn’t get even ONE image accepted, let alone win anything. It was a bit humbling (soul crushing, if I am truthful. HA! Okay that was a bit melodramatic!) Second time out, I did much better, and even struck GOLD (okay, acrylic and glass). This image received a ranking of “merit”, won the “best in class” award in the animal category, AND it was later chosen as one of the judge’s choice awards. I was SWIMMING in delight (get it, swimming, fish, water…)
The next image didn’t win any awards (it DID receive a ranking of “merit” though), but it was in the running for the “best in class” for the portrait category (in the top 4). It is SUPER important to me to note that two of the other images were from 1. the guy that won the whole she-bang last year (Portrait Photographer of the Year) and 2. the guy that won the whole she-bang THIS year (also Portrait Photographer of the year). Come ON…WOO! I was in great company! That feels like a win to me (and it has way less dusting…not that I would complain about dusting if I had actually won it).
Okay here is the point. This is not a bragging post (well, just a bit, maybe…remember, first win since 1983 and I didn’t have to wear a weird sweater and yell “HARD” to do it). I have become very convinced that the point is NOT about winning these contests, but about putting my work out there in judgement and critique against a TON of talented Canadian photographers, by a panel of qualified professional judges. Win or lose, you learn a ton! You learn from watching and listening to the judging of other people’s images too (the images are all judged anonymously by the way…so no one really knows whose images are whose). Sometimes I see a gorgeous image come up for critique that I love, but the judges see it differently. Sometimes I agree with them, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes they change my mind because they see things I didn’t. It doesn’t even matter. It IS about learning and striving for excellence. And being in a professional association, keeps us all on our toes to keep reaching and evolving.
I kinda love that!
Plus, being involved in the PPOC has provided a chance to meet some wonderful photographers (and I mean, as people, not just wonderful at clicking the shutter). Networking, socializing and learning from each other is the name of the game for me.
Joining a professional association is not a requirement of the job. But for me, it is about taking my business and my art seriously. And I can’t WAIT to enter into the competition in 2015, even if I am a bust once again. It MIGHT just be a little addictive and scary and nerve wracking…and those things mean I HAVE to jump in feet and head first (you know, as in a scissor dive…that was my lame attempt to wrap the post up with another water thing…eh…hmmmm…)
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Julie Tauro is a Kitchener Waterloo photographer and the owner at Tauro Photography. Tauro Photography has been providing photography services for families in the Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge since 2002. She also is back in the blogging seat again baby! Look out world!
Julie is an accredited photographer with the Professional Photographers of Canada.