Another year, another Shoot & Share contest!

For those of you who have never heard of it- the Shoot & Share Photo Contest is a yearly affair that encourages photographers from around the world to enter their 50 best images over 25 categories.  The photos are then shuffled and  shown in groups of 4, where voters are prompted to choose their favorite image without any knowledge of who the photographer is. This prevents it from becoming a popularity contest based on followers and keeps the playing field level for everyone!

While my images didn’t perform quite as well as they did last year, I can safely say the 2018 competition was FIERCE and I’m honestly surprised I placed as well as I did. Both last year and this year, 35 of the 50 images I submitted placed in the top 30% or higher in their respective categories.

Overall I had :

– 6 images place as “Finalists” (in the top 500 of their category)

– 10 in the top 10%

– 10 in the top 20%

– 9 in the top 30%

It’s always a fun way to see what other folks are coming up with, how styles are changing, and overall gain so much inspiration and support one another across the globe in this art we call “photography”.

Here are my 35 best-ranked photos from the competition including some info (for those of you who are curious) as to the category they were submitted to as to how they ranked within that category. 🙂 Check ’em out!

Finalists. 

The Groom. 124/3,142.
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The Wedding Couple. 845/36,983.
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Emotion & Excitement. 717/8,800.
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Wedding Details. 359/16,755.
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Guests & Reception. 304/5,689.
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Babies & Toddlers. 202/28,425.
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TOP 10%

(listed from top to bottom)

The Wedding Couple. 845/36,983.

The Wedding Couple. 1,468/36,983.

The Wedding Couple. 3,191/36,983.

The Wedding Couple. 3,439/36,983.

The Wedding Couple. 3,490/36,983. 2018-03-26_0008.jpg

Emotion & Excitement. 717/8,800.
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The Bride. 666/14,265.
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Engagement & Couples. 1,405/37,145.
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Lifestyle / Family Documentary. 1,365/19,330.
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Kids. 2,322/35,570.
2018-03-26_0009.jpgTOP 20%

Wedding Details. 2,934/16,755.

Wedding Details. 3,002/16,755.
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The Wedding Couple. 3,993/36,983.

The Wedding Couple. 6,121/36,983.
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The Bride. 2,521/14,265.
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Family Portraits. 4,732/26,983.
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Lifestyle / Family Documentary. 2,369/19,330.

Lifestyle / Family Documentary. 3,663/19,330.
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Pets / Animals. 1,676/14,426.
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Travel / Landscape. 1,818/16,373.
2018-03-26_0021.jpgTOP 30%

The Wedding Couple. 8,021/36,983.

The Wedding Couple. 8,462/36,983.

The Wedding Couple. 9,368/36,983. 2018-03-26_0022.jpg

Wedding Details. 4,597/16,755.
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Emotion & Excitement. 1,976/8,800.2018-03-26_0025.jpg

The Bride. 4,192/14,2652018-03-26_0023.jpg

Engagement & Couples. 7,806/37,145. 2018-03-26_0024.jpg

The Wedding Party. 2,133/9,135.2018-03-26_0028.jpg

Teens & Seniors. 8,172/29,460.2018-03-26_0027.jpg

If you’ve made it this far, thank you for taking interest in my work! 🙂 Hopefully I can top my previous two years in 2019!

Shoot & Share Contest Results : 2018

What happens when you mix kindness, ambition, hard work & an aptitude for making everything “just right” (Goldilocks style)? A person- and she goes by the name of Lindsey Sachs.

I met Lindsey (of COLLECTIVE/by Sachs) through a mutual friend who thought our careers in the wedding industry and love for couples’ stories would bring us together. She was so right! I’ve talked to many many photographers over the years, but have never met a wedding planner so intent on truly telling a couple’s story and bringing their vision to life.

I was lucky to get to witness her talents first-hand last August when we worked on Rudi & Collin’s wedding together right here in Nederland, which we both are so happy to call our “home base”. As someone who’s shot over 140 weddings, I was amazed at how easily both the rehearsal dinner & wedding came together. I attribute it to the laid back nature of the couple, but more so to Lindsey’s ability to stay on top of every detail. 2018-01-25_0013.jpg

When chatting with Lindsey in preparation for writing this blog, my first question was about what the inspiration was behind the company. What got it all started?

I came to find out that though she had planned many athletic and charitable events in the past, weddings really became her & her hubby Chris’ passion after their own wedding. From the beginning of their relationship they had started taking turns planning sweet and thoughtful dates to take one another on. On one of their dates, Chris toasted to the “collective experiences that brought [them] there”. Little did they know a couple years later it would become the inspiration for the name of the company they would own together.

When it came time- these “collective experiences” were something they made a point to highlight throughout their own wedding day. To Lindsey & Chris- it was important that the wedding party be heavily involved in their union. From planning in extra time in the morning with them, to having them there for their first look and marriage license signing- they made sure that their bridesmaids & groomsmen were witness to it all. They also worked closely with their officiant to craft a ceremony that was both personal and meaningful to them as people and as a couple. They incorporated specific readings, live music, and personal vows that defied the norms of the (sometimes) boring standard ceremony and reflected the two people who everyone had come there to celebrate. If you can believe it- their guests actually gave them a standing ovation when the ceremony had ended!

On their honeymoon in Costa Rica, L & C came to the realization that they might have the ability to make a meaningful wedding day a reality for so many couples, and COLLECTIVE/by Sachs was born. Lindsey says it wasn’t a matter of “if” at that point, but “when”. This was a new mission to accompany their new life as husband and wife.
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When it came to roles, Lindsey immediately stepped into more of the lead planning position, as it had been part of her career for so many years prior. Chris’ specialty is that of a wordsmith and he finds value in working one on one with couples to create a meaningful custom ceremony (like their own). Chris is an engaging and charismatic wedding Officiant who is honored to be part of this special life milestone for couples.

They believe whole-heartedly in making their business a team effort just like their marriage, and want to serve as a living example of the healthy, love-minded folks they hope to work with. Aka “practicing what they preach”.

So who exactly is their ideal couple?

According to Lindsey, it’s people who “value authenticity and want to design a day that inspires them and involves their guests in a way that’s true to their collective experiences”. They love working with people who are open minded and who want to design an intentional, creative & personal wedding vs. the cookie cutter norm. 2018-01-25_0010.jpg

COLLECTIVE/by Sachs offers three planning packages, with Full Service and Month-Of Planning & Design providing the most support throughout the process. Their goal is to learn what is most important to you, and design a day that draws upon those collective experiences that brought you and your fiance together. The result is a truly authentic wedding day that ensures you’re free to be present and in the moment with your family and guests.

One of the facets of their company they hold most dear is vendor connection. This team of two is happy to pair couples with vendors who they think will most closely fit their vision & personality, though they’re 100% excited to meet new folks in the industry as well if a couple already has their favorite vendors picked out. Their primary goal is to serve as the “middle of the wheel” in helping to connect everyone and make your day run smoothly.

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All in all, I don’t think you could meet a more caring dedicated team to help you plan the wedding of your dreams. Don’t just take my word for it though! Check out their Instagram where they post all kinds of lovely inspirational images from the weddings they’re a part of! Also- be sure not to miss visiting their blog where you can find everything from wedding tips & tricks to vendor/venue recommendations, and even a workout series to get you feeling your best for the big day!

Website : https://www.collectivebysachs.com/

Ways to contact the COLLECTIVE :

email : lindsey@collectivebysachs.com

phone : 763.300.2814

Lindsey Sachs : Boss Lady. Wedding Planner. Amazing Friend.

It’s amazing that at this same time last year, I was photographing the amazing Jasmine Bible and her baby bump, which we now know as little Lala (aka Lavender). 🙂  Little did I know then that I’d be in her exact same position come the following year, as her due date was also in May!

After grabbing a tea for her and coffee for me at one of our local coffee shops (Happy Trails) we headed for this perfect little rec area to test my Colorado photography skills and get some sweet little maternity shots for her. I couldn’t have asked for a more stylish mama model to work with!  Though it was bitterly cold that evening, you would never know with how happy and calm she looks. After getting to know her better over the last year, I see this as just another indication of the strength and grace Jas possesses as a person.

Thanks so much Jasmine for being an awesome friend, model extraordinaire, motherhood mentor and amazing support system for me. I can’t wait for Bryce to meet your little family, and I hope him and Lala will be great friends one day. Ned-head kiddos UNITE!!

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Song : Approaching Lavender – Gordon Lightfoot

Jasmine’s Mountain Mama Maternity Session

“Do you think we’ll ever just have a quiet year at Hogwarts?” – Ron Weasley.

Does anyone feel this way about their lives year to year?  I feel like every time I reflect on the events of the last 12 months of my life, I always want to exclaim how crazy they’ve been!  This year was no exception.

Though moving to Colorado slightly pushed the reset button on the word of mouth/success I’d found in Ohio and North Carolina, I was still fortunate enough to be able to work with so many amazing couples, families, companies, and individuals this year.  I seriously can’t even put into words how much it’s meant to be a part of peoples stories and truly life-changing days.  I’m constantly grateful to the clients who have become friends and treat me like family.

My total session count was :

  • 23 weddings
  • 18 couples/engagement sessions
  • 2 styled bridal sessions
  • 6 small businesses
  • 8 families

 

And they took me to these places :

  • Lake Tahoe & Auburn, CA
  • New Zealand
  • Columbus & Lancaster, OH
  • Asheville, Black Mountain & Dunn, NC
  • Costa Rica
  • Prior Lake, MN
  • Moab, UT
  • All over Colorado : Breckenridge, Vail, Ouray, Telluride, Silver Plume & more!

 

My personal life has been quite the adventure as well!  I got to ice climb, road trip across the country, explore the mountains in my backyard with the greatest friends, travel to two different countries, and all within the course of 2017 became a homeowner, a fiance, and a mother-to-be.  I’m honestly kind of shocked it’s already December with how quickly the time has flown!  But you know what they say- it tends to do so when you’re having fun!  And this was one very crazy, but very fun year.  Cheers to 2017, and making the best of it!

My song for the year has been one of my favorites for a long time, but the CO Symphony version is that much better.  To add meaning, I’ve always called it the “husband” song (how goofy is that?) because I firmly believed if I ever met a guy that just felt like this song sounds, he would be my future husband.  Well… I found one, and I’m engaged to him.  Life is funny. 🙂

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Song : Stable Song – Gregory Alan Isakov

A Year in Review : Best of 2017

Let me start off by saying that Holly Kerr of Love Letters Floral Design isn’t just an extremely talented florist, but also an amazing friend and mentor to me.

When I made the big decision to move my business West to Colorado- I was nothing short of terrified.  I started reaching out to vendors whose work I admired just to pick their brain about the Colorado wedding industry and how they managed to make it in such a competitive market.

Holly was one of the first people not only to respond to my plea for help, but happily agreed to meet with me.  I met with her in a coffee shop in Boulder and we gabbed for probably way too long. 🙂  Even though she was a stranger at the time, she immediately felt like a friend I’d known forever.  Not only is this a good quality to find in someone in general, but I’ve come to believe is absolutely essential when it comes to a wedding day.

Wedding days can be stressful.  There’s so much going on and it never fails- there’s always some kind of glitch whether its teeny tiny, or major.  Vendors that feel like friends (or just plain ARE friends) are so important when it comes to keeping the calm and making sure things get back on track/run smoothly.  So hiring Holly to me would mean not only will your bouquets and centerpieces be works of art, but you’ll gain a friend in the process who absolutely has your back.

Holly goes all out in making sure her clients vision is realized.  After asking her some questions about her process, I learned that there is much back-and-forth in the flower industry.  She listens to their ideas and concepts for the wedding, and then applies her creative power to come up with something amazing to present to the bride.  If it’s approved, she goes to work making sure certain types of flowers are available and picks them up from a local wholesaler.  She then picks through the buckets of flowers, arranging something magical.   As I invaded her space and time to bombard her with questions and play paparazzi, Holly turned out a beautiful bouquet on the spot in minutes.

I’ve already informed her that when the time comes for me to get married- I certainly know who I’ll be asking to make a wild/boho bouquet for me!  And of course I’ll ask her to add in her favorite flower- the ranunculus- as her artist signature. 🙂

Check her out!!! >> https://lovelettersfloral.com/

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Song : Cherry Wine – Hozier

Holly Kerr & Love Letters Floral Design

My move to Colorado may be the best thing I’ve ever done for me.  For my business on the other hand- it’s been a super trying experience in many ways.  As with most things though- “anything worth having doesn’t come easy”.  You just have to work harder out here to make it- plain and simple.  I’ve never been so focused on bettering my business, and never so excited to do so either.  That doesn’t mean that the struggle isn’t so. freaking. real. sometimes though.  Which is why this contest was a much needed affirmation that I DO NOT SUCK at photography!  Holllllllla for that!

For those of you who have never heard of it- the Shoot & Share Photo Contest is a yearly affair that’s much akin to Christmas for us photographers.  It’s a free competition where photographers from all over submit their very best images (up to 50) to a choice of 25 different categories.  Those images are then voted on and ranked according to the number of votes the received. This was the first year I’ve entered photos in the competition- which I only did as a result of the inspiration I received from other Colorado photogs.    I submitted the max (50) images and sat around biting my nails wondering how they’d do.

I’m happy to say they did pretty well.  35 out of my 50 placed in the top 30% or higher of their category.  4 placed in the top 30%, while 12 made it to the top 20%, 9 in the top 10%, 8 made it into the top 500 images in their category (aka “Finalist” images), and 2 made it into the top 100, while one of those 2 actually took 3rd place for the “That Just Happened” category.  Granted- art & photography are subjective things, so I take the results with a grain of salt.  But I can’t help but be grateful for the amount of encouragement the contest gave me, and thankful to all of those who voted for my images. <3   Here’s the 35 that kicked butt with their rankings underneath.  Enjoy!  Oh and here’s a song to listen to while you scroll, just because I’ve been obsessed with it lately and am feeling happy. 🙂

2017-03-23_0001.jpgKelli & Adam – Columbus Zoo.  3rd out of 4,317 images submitted to the “That Just Happened” category.
2017-03-23_0002.jpgAshley & Patrick – The Windsor Boutique Hotel. 34/13,834 “Just the Bride”.

2017-03-23_0003.jpgAndrea & Weston.  Tahoe Vistana Inn. 220/6,395.  “Details: All Dressed Up”.2017-03-23_0004.jpgAndrea & Weston.  Tahoe Vistana Inn. 381/3,037.  “Just the Groom”. 2017-03-23_0005.jpgAndrea & Weston.  Alibi Brewery. 172/5,294.  “Guests & Reception”. 2017-03-23_0006.jpgJessica & Spencer.  Pilot Mountain. 223/32,282. “Engagement & Couples”. 2017-03-23_0007.jpgJun & Tristan. El Matador State Park. 477/32,282. “Engagement & Couples”. 2017-03-23_0008.jpgKristen & Chris.  The Renaissance Hotel. 184/6,395. “Details : All Dressed Up”. 2017-03-23_0009.jpgKacie & Matthew. Homewood Suites. 172/9,197. “Emotion & Excitement”.
2017-03-23_0010.jpgNatalie & Jeff.  Rockmill Brewery. 188/35,527. “The Wedding Couple”.
2017-03-23_0011.jpgAshley & Patrick. Black Balsam. 1,343/32,282. “Engagement & Couples”. 2017-03-23_0012.jpgNatalie & Jeff. Rockmill Brewery. 2,050/35,527. “The Wedding Couple”.2017-03-23_0013.jpgKaitlin & Drew. Piney Lake. 2,241/32,282. “Engagement & Couples”.
2017-03-23_0014.jpgJun & Tristan. El Matador State Park. 2,467/32,282. “Engagement & Couples”.2017-03-23_0015.jpgKatie. Mud Lake. 814/17,751. “People Portraits”.2017-03-23_0016.jpgThe Taco. White Rim Trail. 1,116/11,905. “Wanderlust”. 2017-03-23_0017.jpgNatalie & Jeff. Rockmill Brewery. 681/7,635. “Details : Cake, Flower & Decor”.
2017-03-23_0018.jpgNatalie & Jeff.  Rockmill Brewery.  711/13,834. “Just the Bride”. 2017-03-23_0019.jpgBrooke Jagger. Asheville. 1,282/17,751. “People Portraits”.2017-03-23_0020.jpgAlli Donnell. Moab. 1,451/11,905. “Wanderlust”. 2017-03-23_0021.jpgAlex & Mary. Joshua Tree. 5,309/32,282. “Engagement & Couples”. 2017-03-23_0022.jpgTrees. Caribou/Nederland. 1,542/11,905. “Wanderlust”. 2017-03-23_0023.jpgAlli & Nick. Breckenridge. 775/6,395. “Details : All Dressed Up”.
2017-03-23_0024.jpgAndrea & Weston. Tahoe Vistana Inn. 844/6,395. “Details : All Dressed Up”. 2017-03-23_0025.jpgRyan & Brittany. Swan Mountain. 4,309/32,282. “Engagement & Couples”. 2017-03-23_0026.jpgJackie & Dayne. The Cabin Ridge. 1,278/8,304. “Details : Ring Shot”. 2017-03-23_0027.jpgJun & Tristan. Palos Verdes. 3,763/32,282. “Engagement & Couples”.2017-03-23_0028.jpgHiking. Emerald Lake. 1,197/11,905. “Wanderlust”.
2017-03-23_0029.jpgNatalie & Jeff. Rockmill Brewery. 720/6,395. “Details : All Dressed Up”. 2017-03-23_0030.jpgAmanda & Mark. Mooresville. 5,433/35,527. “The Wedding Couple”.2017-03-23_0031.jpgNatalie & Jeff. Rockmill Brewery. 692/5,294. “Guests & Reception”. 2017-03-23_0032.jpgKristen & Chris. The Renaissance Hotel. 2,384/10,037. “The Wedding Party”. 2017-03-23_0033.jpgKelli & Adam. Columbus Zoo. 7,184/35,527. “The Wedding Couple”. 2017-03-23_0034.jpgCourtney & Max. Columbus.  4,583/22,299. “Families”.
2017-03-23_0035.jpgClessie. Allenspark. 4,797/20,266. “People Portraits”.

Shoot & Share Contest Results