For the past two years I have belonged to IMAGES Photo Club, an English speaking photography club in Den Haag. I’ve really enjoyed being a part of the club, especially the outings that I’ve been on with them, like the sailing trip and the trip to Texel. One thing I’ve always wanted to do (but been too afraid to) was to enter a photo into the monthly POTY (Photo of the Year) competition.
Each month there is a themed competition that the members of the club can enter. During the break the photos are hung up with a number attached and the members vote on their five favorites. Before the end of the meeting they announce the winners for that month. At the end of the year the winning photos face off to win the Photo of the Year title and the top five photos from each month are published in the POTY book for that club year.
The theme for this month was MOODS, which felt impossible to me until a friend from the club saw me post the photo above after Penny’s race. He knew I have been eager to enter a photo but was a bit too shy, so when he saw this he suggested that I use it for the mood theme. I hadn’t even though to of it until he mentioned it! This was the first photo I had ever printed, which was a bit of a learning experience. There are a few things I’d do differently next time but I loved seeing one of my photos in print for the first time!
I was so nervous. Sure I put my photos on my blog and on Flickr but this is the first time I’ve ever put my photo out there to be judged in this kind of way. I loved the photo, but would other people like it? I very nearly chickened out. I didn’t though! The fact that it was on my 101 List was the extra motivation I needed to just bite the bullet and do it!
There were 29 entries in all and …. wait for it…. I PLACED THIRD!!! THIRD! Three out of TWENTY NINE!! When they said my name as they were reading out the top five it too me a second to realize they were talking about me!
My friend Barbara snapped this photo quickly with her iphone. Oh those beauty pageant chicks have nothing on my “OMG *SQUEEE* I WON!!!” face, good grief! To most of the others in the club they are like “Oh… cool!” I was like “OMG OMG OMG OMG YAAAAAAAAAY!!!”. Ever the drama queen, I am.
They have this little rule that you have to go up and stand in front of the group and tell a little bit about your photo. This isn’t something I had thought about as I never thought I’d even place, so I had no idea what to say. I ended up sort of rambling on and I don’t even remember what I said, but it was all said with a very shaky voice. So while I realized that I shouldn’t be so afraid to put my photos out there, I also learned that public speaking will never be my thing. I think I can live with that.
Well, that’s one more thing off my list and I’m totally going to do it again!