Shoot & Share Contest Results

For the past few years I’ve entered into an annual contest among professional photographers.  This contest is big…I mean, huge!  As in 413k photos were entered into 25 different categories…175k unique entrants & voters participated and 81 million votes were cast.  Talk about feeling like a small fish in a big pond!

I love this contest for a few reasons one being it’s FREE and anyone can vote.  During voting no one knows who took the pictures or the story behind them but you can “favorite” pictures that you want to learn more about once the contest ends.  During the contest you can see how many of your photographs are favorited by others but you don’t know which of your pictures are being favorited. The suspense during the contest is killer!  Then when the contest is over you can find out who took the pictures you favorited and which of your pictures were favorited by others.  This is one of my favorite photography contests to participate in and I’m so glad I did this year!  Even though you can enter up to 50 photographs into the contest, or be “all in,” I only entered 37 photos this year because…well, I honestly forgot to enter the remaining pictures! 

As most of you may know I mainly shoot couples portraits and weddings as a professional but as you can see in the list below I have found a new love in photographing kids as well.  This year I entered into the following categories:
Engagement & Couples
The Wedding Party
Wedding Details
Wedding Couple
Emotion & Excitement
Babies & Toddlers


Seriously guys, these results blow my mind!  I entered into this contest blindly with the perspective of “well, why not?” and during the whole month of voting I only saw my photographs twice near the very beginning!  I seriously thought I had been eliminated early in the game but then I noticed people were still favoriting my pictures so I held out hope that some magic was still happening behind the scenes.  Here are the awards and their counts.  It’s pretty exciting to see how well my pictures did among other professional photographers around the world!

Here are my top 30%!

This first picture is from Grant & Jillian’s Virginia engagement session – they are kicking off our 2018 wedding season with their April wedding next month!  Their session initiated at Grant’s father’s farm (which by the way I’m jealous I don’t live there with all the picture-perfect scenery!) and concluded on a family friend’s farm. 
We fell in love with the Virginia mountains and the perfect sunset that concluded their session!  These two were naturals in front of the camera and super sweet during their session.  As a photographer it’s awesome to have clients who are so comfortable with each other during a session because you can get really creative with your work.  Anything we suggested this couple was up for and I know that’s why this awesome picture happened! You can’t tell in this picture but in front of the couple/behind us was a huge field of cows who were constantly making noise!  How this couple held it together and created such authentic emotion in the moment is beyond me!

This photo placed 8,959/37,145 in the Engagement & Couples category.
Stay tuned because I still need to blog this session!


Next up is a picture from one of my favorite venues to date!  Matt & Emilie were married at Springside Barn in East Earl, PA.  The venue is a fairly new wedding venue with it up and running for just a few years.  The owner’s daughter was the first to get married on their family farm.  After that wedding they decided to renovate the barn and see how much interest there was in making it a wedding venue.  Let me tell you, this venue is gorgeous – ceremony site, getting ready area, reception barn – it’s all beautiful!  Every detail was taken into consideration (even the fire extinguisher and “Exit Signs” were hidden from the main view!) which as a photographer makes me want to do a happy dance!  I would seriously create an incentive program if all of our potential brides wanted to get married here! 

This picture placed 3,680/16,755 in the Wedding Details category.
I need to blog this wedding too!

Here are my top 20%!

I’m including these two pictures together because they are from the same session/are the same ring!  If you follow my Instagram feed it doesn’t take long to learn that I LOVE taking ring/detail shots.  If a jewelry store was ever like “Hey, we need someone to take creative photographs of this season’s engagement rings” I would volunteer in a heartbeat!  So it was no surprise to me that 3 of my top 20% pictures were ring shots. 
This ring was from Matt & Amy’s autumn engagement session at Renfrew Park in Waynesboro, PA.  One of the reasons why I love that this ring did so well is because it is a classic ring.  I really do love the current ring trends with diamond halos and multi-gem rings, but I also love simple, traditional rings like this one.  Solitaire rings are always in style and normally their diamond naturally pops the color of the image and steals the show in pictures with it’s bright reflection.

This picture placed 1,679/16,755 in the Wedding Details category.
You can view Matt & Amy’s session here

This picture placed 2,237/16,755 in the Wedding Details category.
You can view Matt & Amy’s session here


This picture was one of my all time favorite pictures of 2017!  Sometimes you walk away from sessions and just know that you nailed every pose – that was this session!  Josh & Cheyenne’s session took place at Gettysburg Battlefield National Park.  We live 30 minutes from the battlefield so this is one of our most popular session locations.  We love shooting at the battlefield because it has many varying locations to choose from so you can have a session with a lot of differing locations: wheat fields, forest paths, covered bridges and stone overlooks.  This was taken at the peak of the sunset golden hour in the middle of one of the battlefields.  I’ve noticed a lot of potential wedding couples reference this session as one of their favorites when they look on our site because of how the sun naturally highlights the field – mother nature is beautiful!

This picture placed 7,397/37,145 in the Engagement & Couples category.
You can view Josh & Cheyenne’s session here!

Here is my top 10%!

This is definitely one of my favorite ring shots I’ve taken to date.  This picture is from Mike & Evelyn’s engagement session from last spring.  The session took place at a friend’s farm and, like all great pictures, was taken on the fly.  Would you believe that this picture is from a regular flower bed of river stones?  The key to gorgeous ring shots is, of course, having adequate natural light, but also is being able to look at a small area and determine if the details around it will distract or enhance the ring.  Besides this ring being obviously gorgeous it also has the perfect diamond layering around the main stone which naturally draws your eye to the center diamond!

This picture placed 7,397/37,145 in the Engagement & Couples category.
You can view Mike & Evelyn’s session here!

It was so much fun participating in the contest this year!  I haven’t been near as active in the contest these past few years mainly just because I’ve been so busy with life but this year I wanted to put forth more effort and actually submit images and actively participate in voting.  If you would like to see the finalists in all 25 categories you can click here!  I love seeing the finalists and drawing inspiration from their creativity!



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