Great success! Shoot and Share photo contest, 2019. Stories behind the entries

That’s a wrap! The 2019 Shoot and Share photo contest has drawn to a close. I’d call it very successful!

I submitted 10 photos to this contest, and all but two of them placed in the top 10% of all images submitted. My images were lucky enough to enjoy place in the top 100 three times, with one even placing 2nd! I thought you might be interested in hearing a little bit about how I created the images that placed highest.

“Pardon me, did you say food?” 2nd place out of 24,500 photos

“Pardon me, did you say food?” 2nd place out of 24,500 photos

2nd Place

“Pardon me…?” - The Story Behind the Photo

The story behind this image is about as simple as the image itself. This is Cohen, my Always Up For Anything dog. She learns new things incredibly quickly, and nothing ever fazes her. I taped some craft paper to some furniture, poked a hole in it, then asked Cohen to poke her nose through. It only took 2-3 holes before we captured the shot I was looking for.

This was taken back before I had any studio lighting. It was captured with window light, a large sheet of paper and a tricky-savvy dog.

Lottie and Grizzly - 8th place out of 24,540 submitted photos

Lottie and Grizzly - 8th place out of 24,540 submitted photos

8th place

Lottie and Grizzly - the story behind the photo

People familiar with my work may recognize Lottie as the expressive border collie who features in some of my earliest coloured powder work. She and her housemate Grizzly traveled all the way from Sudbury to Toronto to participate in this model call.

This photo was kinda-sorta an accident. I knew that these two had this adorable trick before we shot this day, but my focus was on action/powder photos. Once we’d wrapped up their session for the day and the light was fading fast, we rushed to set up this trick. Unfortunately, since we were shooting disc on a large field, we were a bit limited when it came to options to take a portrait photo (as I normally like to use shrubbery to create depth and interest in my work). We asked the dogs to hop up on a wall, strike a pose and CLICK, we were done in 2-3 minutes, tops. I knew we’d captured something special.

Oh, and did I mention, Lottie was still PINK from our powder shots? Thank goodness for Photoshop. I couldn’t do too much about those wet paws though….

Isla and Breeze - 99th place out of 24,540 submitted photos

Isla and Breeze - 99th place out of 24,540 submitted photos

Top 100

Isla and Breeze - The Story Behind the Photo

This is one of my favourite photos to date. It’s partly because of the content, but mostly because of the editing involved. I don’t have the luxury or desire to spend a great deal of time post-processing every image I take, but this one was something special to me. I had a mental image of what I wanted to create, and I did just that!

I’d recently been looking at the beautiful work of Elena Shumilova, and I wanted to try to capture the same sort of magic she does in her work.

Some things that I modified in creating this image were: Isla’s hat colour, her pompom, her jacket, Breeze’s head position, the snow (this was taken in the fall), the lighting, the overall colour palette. I felt like this image really allowed for me to stretch me creatively, inspiring me to use methods that I’d never used before, but that I have added to my bag of tricks ever since.

top 10%

Here are the images that placed in the top 10%.

Thank you very much to all who organized it, and to those who encouraged me to submit my work to the contest.