A couple of months ago, I started submitting photos to contests. I hoped I'd win but I expected to get rejected. Newbies get rejected, right? That's the path. You submit and then you get rejected. You repeat the process until someone accepts your work, eventually.
Last month, I entered 5 photos for The Muse Creative Awards.
I didn't think I had any chance of winning. Generally, life has been kicking me around so I wasn't feeling too positive. This was just another rejection I needed to get out of the way.
When I got an email saying the winners were posted, I searched The Muse Awards' website just to be sure my photos weren't there. I mean, I hadn't received an email about my submission so I assumed I'd been rejected, again. I was just double checking since I also hadn't received a rejection.
I was totally floored to find out my photo was actually there.
So yeah, I won a Rose Gold Award in Architecture Photography for The Muse Creative Awards.
I stared at the page for awhile. I knew what I was seeing but what I was seeing couldn't be right. Why would my photo win? Things had been going wrong for months. It felt strange for something this good to happen to me. I shared the link with my family and friends. They all confirmed it.
My photo won. I even get a certificate. It still feels surreal. I guess I can say I'm an award winning photographer. Feels weird.
Just try, even if you think you don't have a chance. There's nothing wrong with trying.
On a similar note, I sell photos on stock image sites like Shutterstock. I've been trying to get on iStock by Getty Images but I got rejected twice. Being around publishing, I've heard of Getty Images...a lot. Getting on that site has been my dream. After 2 rejections, I assumed it wouldn't happen.
Then my photos on Shutterstock started selling pretty consistently. I figured this was a good time to try again. I applied to be a contributor for iStock. Over the weekend, I got accepted! Funny enough, they accepted a photo I was sure would get rejected.
As I mentioned earlier, life has been pretty rough. I was ready to give up on everything. I was fighting those "what's the point" thoughts. And then this happened. My nice ray of sunshine in the middle of a storm.
No matter how bad it seems, don't give up on your dreams. (That rhyme was totally by accident.)