Oh boy ladies did you make this difficult. I do have to say I am quite glad I did not have to judge these, thank you so much to my three photographer friends who did it for me! I am not going to bore you too long with details, but I do want to say that they hd such a hard time that I added a few prizes. So, there are 2 grand prize, 2 runner ups and 3 honorable mention. You all did a fantastic job.
Grand prize 1 (free session) goes to Marissa. Seriously, when I opened this in my email I melted, and the judges were just giddy with this. You have a very natural talent Marissa and I hope you keep learning and growing. I honestly at first thought this was one of my pro friends trying to be funny and enter. What they loved: the closeness to the baby, and the depth of field, plus the very natural expression you captured!
I did a little Q&A with the entrants and here are Marissa's responses.
1. What were a few of the techniques you applied from the class while taking this shot?
I shot using Aperture priority in attempt to blur the background; She's playing "peek-a-boo" because she was looking for the 'fishy" hidden in my camera while I was dancing around like a fool :) ; I got down on her level; got really close so I could fill the frame and avoid background disturbances; caught her in her environment (chair in her room).
2. What were the lighting conditions?
I was next to a window, sunny day, blinds open, and used a flash.
3. What camera are you using?
4. Have you ever had any additional photography training? (side note here, this will not eliminate you, but there will a couple that were VERY good so they are just wondering)
At the time of the class, I had also just started a continuing education beginners photography course at USF.
Grand prize 2 (another free session) goes to Alyson.
What the judges loved: How you filled the frame with her face, and the angle. Great even lighting and pretty catchlights and expression on her face.
Here's Alyson's answers...
1. What were a few of the techniques you applied from the class while taking this shot? I got down on her her level, tried to fill the frame the best I could while applying the rule of thirds. I also tilted the camera slightly to add a little more interest to the photo.
2. What were the lighting conditions? The pic was taken mid morning on a very bright sunny day so I took her on the shaded side of the house.
3. What camera are you using? Nikon D90
4. Have you ever had any additional photography training? (side note here, this will not eliminate you, but there will a couple that were VERY good so they are just wondering) I'm currently in a beginning photography class.
Runner up 1 (credit for a 16x20 print from a session with me) is Janice.
What the judges loved: Great even lighting and catchlights. Good position and proximity near baby, and great focus on the face.
Runner up 2 (credit for 16x20 print from session with me) is Lisa.
What the judges loved: Can literally hear the giggles on this one! Wonderful capture of personality.
Honorable mentions 1,2,3 (credit for 11x14 from a session with me) Stacy, Rebecca and Becky
Thanks to everyone who entered. Please email me to redeem your prizes! I had a great time hearing from each of you.