I’ve always been my own most harsh critic. Everyone says, “Progress, not perfection.” But one of my camera straps states my mantra, “Striving for Perfection.” Progress is wonderful but it only happens when I keep pushing, keep learning, keep trying harder and harder to make my images the best it can be.

When I got my first camera I immediately started learning how that magical contraption works. Oh what I wouldn’t give to have that first roll of film today! I want to see my Progress. I want to know what it was that inspired me to click the shutter the first time. It was probably something like a blurry picture of the box the camera came in. I still remember that excitement that photography gave me in the beginning.

Friends and family encouraged me to “Hang out my shingle” and offer my photography to the public. I was scared. Scared that I would fail. Scared that I wouldn’t fail but might lose my enjoyment of photography. Starting a photography business can be lonely and humbling. But my only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.

Progress has been steady. I take classes, attend seminars and clinics, read books and magazines, watch new techniques demonstrated on YouTube and have started competing in print competitions. I’ve had trouble seeing my progress in other areas of my life. Associates had to point out my progress to me. I couldn’t recognize it. But with my photography I absolutely can see my own progress!

The Southwest District Print Competition is currently open and accepting entries. I haven’t chosen which images I’m submitting. I’ve never entered a district level print comp before. I entered Intermountain Professional Photographer’s Association Print Comp in Utah and Professional Photographers of Colorado’s Print Comp this year for the first time. I thought entering the state affiliate level print comps was “Jumping Into the Deep Water.” If that was the Deep Water, I’m looking at district competition as the ocean! No matter how this higher level of competition ends up, I’m sure I’ll see progress.

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”