How does the saying go? Better late than never…
I just finished prepping my image submissions for this year’s competition, yay! Which made me realize I never blog/bragged about my accomplishments at last year’s Vermont Professional Photographers 90th Annual Convention.

The Professional Photographer’s Association (PPA) is the world’s largest nonprofit trade association for professional photographers. I mention this to illustrate how professional/serious/competitive/educational their annual image competitions are. Vermont Professional Photographers (VPP), has to adhere to PPA’s strict guidelines, hire trained judges and abide by their “12 Elements of a Merit Print”. It’s the real deal and some people take it very, very seriously. This will be my seventh year competing in VPP’s Print Competition, and I feel like it wasn’t until last year that I really got it. The moment I treated it as a specific art form really changed things for me. Being uber-critical of my own work and open to critique helped me to open a door last year that I never expected to achieve.

In 2019 I entered 3 images, and my favorite scored the lowest. Go figure.

VPP Print Competition - Portrait From the Field by Jamie Proctor-Brassard

But now I know I broke a cardinal rule, to not submit images of subjects close to the heart. This was for me a photo of my Father in his civil war garb, which I then hand painted  the background to match the style of that era. It was 2 points from meriting. Bummer. Hey, at least I got some quality time with Pops… and, a lesson learned. Previous years I was the Queen of the Score of 79, which is the highest number before qualifying for merit. It’s also THE most frustrating number to receive – one measly point from being considered excellent. I’ve had 3 meriting images over the years, and received a “Most Promising Newcomer Award” in 2014, but other than that the rest of my images missed the mark. That is until last year.

The other two images I submitted both received Court of Honor awards, highlighting excellence in the competition amongst many other extremely talented photographers. And my creative submission last year was the highest scoring image from over 90 other entries. You guys, I WON BEST IN SHOW. What the what!? Even after an entire year has flown by I am still pinching myself because I never expected to receive that honor, and am now pushing myself to hopefully beat last years personal best. I’ve put in the work, now its up to the judges – fingers crossed!
Holy Perennial, awarded a score of 92, and also received a Court of Honor Award, and the coveted Best in Show.

 

black and white wedding portrait in rain
A Sign of Good Luck received a Court of Honor Award.