Shoot & Share 2017

After I posted on social media about my excitement over being a finalist in the 2017 Shoot & Share contest, several of my amazing clients and supporters expressed an interest in seeing the images that ranked. Now that all of the results have finally been announced, I thought I would share a quick little blog post with all of the images that received recognition...for anyone interested...and because I am ridiculously proud to have my work stand next to all of the incredible photographers that entered. Some of whom I have learned from and followed for years. See the slideshow for all of my ranking images (in the order of how well they did), and keep reading for a rundown on how the contest works if you like.

Here's how it works. Entrants are allowed to enter up to 50 images total, across 25 different image categories. The categories are things like Family, Maternity, Lifestyle, Emotion & Excitement, various ages of children (Newborn, Babies & Toddlers), various wedding related subjects (Bride, Goom, Wedding Couple, Reception), and etc. (Sadly, Birth is not a category and no one is allowed to enter anything that may be perceived as too graphic.) This year over 330,000 images were entered from all over the world. 

So many of you asked if you could go an vote for me (I LOVE YOU GUYS!), but the beauty of this contest is that it isn't that simple. There is no way to quickly go in and cast your vote for any certain image. Voting is done completely anonymously and at random, which makes this contest the most fair and authentic one out there. It isn't about a photographer's popularity and there is no way for anyone to flood the voting pool with votes for their own images. Each image stands 100% on it's own merits.

When the month long voting process begins, the voter is shown a random group of 4 images from one category and asked to click on their favorite image to vote. The algorithm will continue to show you groups of 4 images for as long as you want to continue voting. Voting is done in 12 rounds. At the end of each round, a percentage of the images with the lowest number of times picked are eliminated. While anyone CAN go in and vote, it is entirely possible that you may never even see. Voting literally overtook my entire February...I had the contest up on my computer, my iPad, and my iPhone pretty much constantly and I would vote every second I got. And in all that time only only ONE of the images above came up for me to vote on. Crazy right? It is both frustrating to not be able to vote for your own images, and seriously validating when you finally get to see how so many other people (mostly photographers...because who else is going to endure that voting process) responded to your images. 

So that's it in a nutshell. Thanks for reading and supporting my work. And a HUGE thanks to each of the beautiful faces (or feet, as the case may be) in these images for even making this possible.

Natalie is a lifestyle family photographer serving Pensacola, FL and surrounding areas. With a passion for capturing candid family moments, she specializes in birth and newborn lifestyle photography. Natalie lives in Pensacola with her husband and two (very difficult to photograph) children. Besides photography, she has a passion for modern sewing projects and graphic design. 

Photo Credit: Indie Pearl Photography