Thursday, August 06, 2009

I'm Still Here

I know it has been a couple of weeks since I took the time to write. I have to admit that I found it hard to motivate myself in many ways lately, not just where my blog is concerned, but I am back, thanks in part to something that happened to my Tuesday night. Just as a warning, I'll be tooting my own horn, so to speak, so keep that in mind as you read the rest of this post.

As part of their summer reading program, Provo City Library sponsored a small photography contest called "Picture The Real Provo." They asked anyone interested to post photos on their Flickr group that showed what the photographer thought was unique or special about Provo. Each week the librarians selected the photo they liked the most and that photo won a 16x20 enlargement from Allen's Camera here in Provo. Over 290 photos were submitted. I submitted 11 photos (you can see them here: and I had two selected ("Provo River Trail' and 'Flags') as weekly favorites. The first win came at a time I was seriously considering giving up photography and giving my camera to my daughter. People who know me will understand the gravity of that last sentence. I am an avid photographer, but events starting with being paid off back in March were kind of piling up and I was really going through a period of serious self-doubt. Having that first photo selected was a blessing in more ways than I can adequately explain. Normally, I do not need any outside validation for my photography, but this was exactly what I needed at the time.

The second win came a couple of weeks ago. Ironically, I received the e-mail while I was at the library doing some job searching. It was quite a surprise and also a very big lift to my spirits while doing something that has become rather difficult for me. I have since discovered that I was the only repeat winner in the nine-week contest, something I never would have dreamed going into it. Needless to say, it was a great feeling.

Then came Tuesday night. My wife and I arrived at the library for the grand prize drawing for the reading program. I had decided to come not because I thought I had a snowball's chance of winning the Nintendo Wii, but because the original program announcement said that the weekly winners would be honored at the drawing. As we reached the second floor, my wife noticed the art gallery was displaying photos from the photo contest. We went in and they had placed photos selected from those submitted along the three walls of the gallery. Each weekly winner was noted, and I was rather pleasantly surprised to find that they had included not only the two winning photos I had submitted, but a third photo as well. I had a photo hanging on each wall! This is the closest I have ever gotten to having a gallery showing; in fact, it is the first time any of my work has been shown in public. It was an extremely happy moment for me. I even went back today and took photos of my photos hanging on the wall to record this momentous occasion. It was a definite bright spot in what has often been a rather gloomy summer. Hopefully it is a hint of things to come.

Oh, and I didn't win the Wii, but who cares. It would have paled in comparison.