3rd place in the 2016 Wildlife in NC Magazine Photo Contest + Publication

Like most people, at the start of 2016 I made a few personal resolutions. Resolutions I really intended to keep. One of the main ones was to step out of my comfort zone and to shine bright, sharing my photography as much as possible. I wanted this year to be a year that I grew personally and professionally. I knew it could be done but only with a lot of dedication, positivity, and hard work.

I can proudly say that 2016 has been the best year ever for me and Matt. Our photography business has absolutely taken off to places we did not imagine were even possible in 2015 or previous years. Matt is even about to announce an exciting project he has been working on for the past year so I can't wait for you to know more about that. But in a nutshell the success and personal growth that I really wanted for myself at the beginning of the year has 100% happened!

I found out that I won 3rd place in the 2016 Wildlife in North Carolina Magazine Photo Contest in the 'Wild Plants' category for my photo, "Rainbows in Autumn".

I am so over the moon excited guys! When I got the email I was jumping up and down because I have entered photos in this contest each year for the past 3 years, so this year my work was actually recognized as the best. Like with any artist, you know that you like your work, but you always wonder what other people think so to get recognition from professional photography judges means a lot and really gives me confidence to keep going.

This contest is one of the best photo contests in the state and I really look forward to entering it every single year. It's very well done and the prizes and recognition are outstanding! All year long I keep this contest in mind as I take pictures so that by the time Summer ends I can start getting my favorites ready to submit. So many talented photographers participate, so the competition is fierce. There are 8 categories and prizes are awarded to the top 25 winners. Last year 1500 photos were submitted!

Prizes: The prizes I will receive include publication in the January/February 2017 issue of the magazine, a mounted print from JW Photo Labs, $50, and it will hang in the Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh for the duration of 2017 with the other winners. So freaking cool! :)

camera settings I used:

Nikon D90

105 mm



iso 200

I wrote this post last year detailing the day that I went out and took this photo. I took it at Durant Nature Park in Raleigh on Halloween afternoon 2015. I saw it right when I got down to the lake and was in love. I had to work quickly to capture the golden light. I moved myself around the leaf in such a way that I could get the light AND that gorgeous fall reflection in the background. I still feel the exact same way about it as I wrote in the post. It's really cool and I knew going into this contest that if any of my submissions would win, it would probably be this one because the judges of this contest are really picky and I have come to understand what they are looking for in their winners. They only choose truly UNIQUE images, not your every day run of the mil photo of an ordinary leaf. It has to be different and I have always felt that this one was special. So yeah, I love this picture and I am so proud of it!

Thanks for reading! xo