Grateful Award winning photographer

So why am I grateful? I am grateful because during a global pandemic, I was handed the gift of time.
I was able to study the bits of business that are not my superpower, which is social media ‘as I don’t always get it, and enter images to an international portrait competition and win awards.

The social media was a god send, keeping me busy while we were unable to shoot in the U.K. over the past 12 months. I still wouldn’t say it was a ‘super power’ but I am trying to be more present. Its made me post regularly and link with my website, which seems obvious but sometimes we can be blinded to obvious.

Grateful for entering the Competition was primary again as I have had time to think, I will pop this this, and this in and work towards a goal. The goal of being an associate.

The first round in August I entered 4 images, in the last hours of submission in a panic, I had been trying to juggle family life and working on business together, and got a tad distracted. I also don’t think we realise how much things mean to us until we force ourselves to do them. A couple of maternity images I had taken just before we locked down in the UK. I actually felt ill after submitting them. What if they didn’t like them? Then I put it to the back of my mind as we briefly opened for business as a country and I had a backlog of babies to squeeze in to a small amount of time.
All 4 medaled at bronze. I was over the moon I had underestimated how I would feel. So decided I would prioritse time towards selecting and editing the next one I entered. Luckily or unluckily the UK went into a full lockdown again and the award board allowed older images to be entered. So I had a look through my old customer work that I had licence to use. I then selected some favourites and a couple of ‘odd ball’ ones and re editied them for submission. 20 images. Yes if you think I was nervous last time, it was nothing to how I felt this time!

Portrait Masters January 2021

So Mothering Sunday came and all of a sudden I realised I wasn’t going to sleep well. The awards are given out after the live broadcast at 6pm GMT Monday 15th March . I was regretting over submitting. I new I was going to have a problem with any rejections. During submission I had scatter gunned a collection hoping a few would hit the bronze spot, I now had the realisation that ‘I have skin in the game’ a lot of skin, practically naked. It was unrealistic to believe they would all medal.

Monday I sit down for my dinner, with earphones on thinking what ever happened I now need to see what qualities are required for top 20 images in each category. Just so I can feel less disappointment if any of my precious babies (how I feel about my work) didn’t medal. Not sure if its the headphones but I was drawn into the experience, it was very emotive and exciting.

Get on with it woman, what did you get? Did any miss. Whats the point of all the waffle?
Well I was sitting there drawn in and casually one of my images flicked onto the screen. Apparently I made a very odd noise. Husband thought I was about to cry, vomit or just explode. There was a lot of hand waving and deep breathing. Two missed by 2 points 18 medaled, 3 distinctions, one with a silver and top twenty placement. I couldn’t string a sentence together for 3 hours.

Moral of the story. If believe you can or can’t both are true. Believing you can’t succeed robs you of trying. I have been telling my daughter this for years, however I haven’t entered any competitions since I was studying my degree in 1991. I didn’t put myself forward because of fear. Which meant I didn’t get to feel the CAN. I am grateful that I tried. I am grateful that I got to feel the elation of succeeding. Roll on the next opportunity to move closer to my goal.

Hellooo my name is Toni and if you would like me to help you create a legacy image for your family please email me.