There is only one way to write this and that is from my heart. Yesterday, the National Association of Professional Child Photographers announced the 2013 Photographer of the Year. I am proud and honoured to be the recipient of this award. Thank you to all of the judges, Alice Park and the team at NAPCP for this recognition.
I read a post a few weeks ago from Chase Jarvis. He had me from the first line since I am a firm believer in not doing everything alone or needing to be a hero for doing absolutely everything in isolation. We, as human beings, did not get where we are no matter what we do…alone. The last line resonated with me and I find it fitting to reference it today, “In short, it takes a village. Want to be a successful creative? Cultivate your village. Cultivate your network, your relationships, your support, your mentors and friends. Without them, your journey will be a short one”.
Two of my favourite words are “thank you”. I believe in giving thanks to those that love, guide and support us in this life. So on the day after this exciting news I would like to do just that. I received over 500 messages yesterday. I have read every single message. I could not even fathom the love, excitement and genuine happiness from all of you. The fact that so many of you emailed, posted, called, texted and stopped me for a hug yesterday tells me one thing. You all feel a part of this. It is not just mine. It is all of ours. Thank you to every person, family and company that has hired me. Thank you to my family, my friends, my neighbours and my beloved photography friends. I have done my job. I have created more than just these photographs with you. I have created the feeling I wanted all along in my business. A feeling of connectedness and team work. I could not have taken these without your trust, faith and belief in me.
I know this isn’t the Oscars but….this is an opportunity to thank my village that I don’t get every day! (And the music can’t cut me off here…)
Thank you to my family, friends and neighbours. Thank you to all of my clients. There are many times in a week where I am overcome with emotion when I think of all of the wonderful human beings I get to work, laugh, hug, cry, vent, connect and create with. To say that I am lucky is the greatest understatement. The winds of photography have brought many interesting, beautiful, fascinating and kind people my way. This I am grateful for. I take a piece of you with me after every session. I might forget your names (that I do right at the session) but I never forget your face:)
My photography friends and mentors locally and in the USA! This can be a challenging field to navigate. Thank you to the greatest group of photography pals I could ever ask for. This group is diverse. They are supportive, kind and loyal. We reach out to celebrate and pick each other up when times are tough. I am thankful for you all. Mandy B, Michelle B, Robyn R, Melissa V, Katy B, Dana P, Illona H, Kelli T, Angie A, Amy L, Jess T, Melissa H, Monica W, Jennifer P, Jennifer K, Crystal J, Brian H, Brian R, Wanda O, Samantha P, Mandy J, Barb S, Danielle E, Priya M, Lisa T, Tessa S, Marie V and Dave K. You all inspire and push me to be better every day. Not just as a photographer but as a human being. An extra special thank you to Mandy Blake for being in my life.
And to my OFTW Team! Mandy, Christa, Rachel, Jessi and Leanne. This would not be nearly as fun without you to laugh, vent and dream with!
Special thanks to Deb Schwedhelm for the example she sets for this industry and for being my mentor and guide long before you knew you were. And one of my all time photography crushes, Cliff Mautner. Best lighting course I EVER took:)
Thank you to the members of WINC. This is a women’s business networking group I co-chair in Kitchener-Waterloo. This group of women inspires me every day. We help each other navigate the waters of business ownership with intense support and respect. Within this group I would like to say a special thank you to Gillian Rees. A trusted friend, an enviable business woman and my business coach!
A huge thank you to this most amazing community of Kitchener-Waterloo! You inspire and cultivate an environment of entrepreneurship like no other city. I am a proud business owner in this community! Special thanks to KW GLEE, The Hummingbird Centre for Hope, Kitchener-Waterloo Skate Club, the Speakers Bureau and the Dunfield Theatre for having me work within your organizations.
Best until last? You bet. So the hubby sent the announcement off to his head office in NYC. Claire jumped up and down screaming. Kate stared at the computer screen and said, “Did you mention me?” Ahhhh, my family.
Thank you Mom, Dad, Elaine, Andrea, Clive, Owen and Alex for years of love and encouragement. xo
I have always said, “It’s not about the journey but who you take along for the ride.” Thank you for standing by me.
Many thanks. Much appreciation.
And much love always,
PS: Thank you to the Last Forty Percent for the rockin’ headshot!:)
2013-2014 Image Competition Placements….