An object. Is it possible for an object to strike emotion in us? Can it move us even though it isn’t alive? If there is no face smiling back at us, can we still feel a deep connection? After seeing the awesome work from our Top Five Finalists for the Inspirational Object contest, you may say yes to all the above!
If you are new to the blog, let me catch you up.
Way back when, we opened a photo contest for the most Inspirational Object. Remember that, feels like years ago!
Well, let’s fast forward to today! What better way to start the new year than be inspired by the Top Five Finalists for the Inspirational Object Photo Contest!
You will love these images, but you can only vote for one! See voting guidelines, FAQ, and prize info below.
For now, meet your talented finalists and be inspired!
Finalist #1, 1930′s Piano, by Julie
I wish I could do a post of all the piano images that were submitted b/c they remind me of the baby’s feet images from yesterday’s post. So many of you sent piano images, and each one was different in perspective. Each image was well done! We picked Julie’s as one of the five finalists b/c of the unique angle she shot from.
The piano fills the frame. The keys blur off the bottom corner of the image and you feel like the piano goes on forever and forever. I don’t know about you, but I also felt like I was sitting at the piano. The image composition is that inviting, drawing us in. The post process Julie chose was also well done. The vintage, sepia tones lends to that timeless feeling. But more than the timeless feeling, it makes one feel like the piano is magical, almost weightless. These are just a few things that come to mind when I see Julie’s beautiful image. What comes to your mind? Thank you Julie! Your image is wonderful! Check out Julie’s blog too!
Finalist #2, Asher’s Onsie, by Jennifer
The image alone is striking b/c of the meaning it holds. From a photography perspective, we loved how Jennifer composed this image. There are a couple elements that stick out to us that make her image stand out. I love that the onsie is hanging on the doorknob b/c it adds instant emphasis to how small this little one is. We already know the one who wears this is a baby, but Jennifer helps accentuate that point by hanging the onsie on the doorknob. And what I like even more than the doorknob is the blurred crib in the background. If this was intentional, BRAVO Jennifer! She also shoots down on the onsie to give the effect of it looking smaller and then there is a slight camera tilt which adds a little motion to the image. All these little details combined equal a great image. Jennifer also has a great blog! Be sure to check that out! And now to keep you from suspense, here is the story behind this sweet onsie.
Asher’s onsie is my inspirational object because it reminds me of how big miracles come in small packages. Asher is the son of a friend of mine who has overcome challenges he was born with. He had a heart defect and major open-heart surgery when he was born, and now at almost a year he is free of most of his medication and has a clean bill of health. I myself was born with a heart defect as a preemie twin born at 28 weeks weighing two pounds and two ounces and had life-saving surgery at two weeks old.
Finalist #3, Love and Coffee, by J.P.
J.P.’s image stuck out to us because of how warm his composition was (no pun intended ). The story behind why this coffee mug is his Inspirational Object will warm you right up. (pun intended )
My wife and I met in our favorite local coffee shop; I was 24, she was 19–far too young for me. I liked her an awful lot, though, and over the next year we spent a lot of time talking over coffee. Eventually, I realized that she was too amazing to keep at a distance, and so, sitting in our coffee shop, I asked her if she’d like to start seeing me romantically. She said yes, and a few years later said yes again when I asked her to marry me at that same table in the same coffee house. This cup and another like it were given to us by the wonderful owner of the coffee shop. They were the last two remaining of the old style of cups that had gradually been replaced by shinier, whiter cups that lacked the character of the old mugs. I love the chips and the stains in our matching coffee cups–they remind me that, although we’re bound to get banged up a little bit, we’re going to continue to bring one another warmth and comfort for years and years to come.
What did I tell you? Isn’t that a great story! But the story isn’t the reason why J.P.’s image was picked. A handful of you sent coffee mug images too, but J.P.’s soft lighting and buttery, blurry background guided my eye into the significance of this one mug. The lighting and blur played hand in hand in making this image give off a warm energy. J.P., was this window light that you used? I only ask b/c of how beautiful and soft the lighting is. There is also background in the image, but the background is intentionally blurred and the blur almost accentuates the solid colored mug. Even the light colored coffee inside the mug adds to the softness of the story behind this image. I don’t know if J.P. meant to, but it feels like he thought of every detail in composing an image of a single coffee mug. Great job J.P.! Thank you for submitting!
Finalist #4, Tic Tacs, by Ashley
The story behind this image reminded me of Brian and the kids, except we always buy little packs of gum. Not only are you going to love Ashley’s story, but don’t you love her composition of this image? It’s awesome. The low F stop with the tic tacs blurred in the foreground, and how Ashley filled the frame. Great job Ashely! You took a simple object and really brought it to life. Thank you for sharing! Here is Ashley’s story in the email she sent me;
The tic tac tradition started when I was a little girl. My mom would put orange tic tac’s in my brother and my Christmas stockings at first. Then she would hide them in my bag when I would go to my dad’s house on the weekend as a kid, go on vacation, or leaving home for college. Now, as a grown woman, she still hides tic tacs in my bag when I leave her house from a visit. Over time, orange tic tacs became a reminder of her love and strength when she wasn’t with me. A month ago, my husband and I went to see her for a visit. When I got home, I found these in my bag.
Finalist #5, No Place Like Home, by Yvonne
Red slippers was another popular image that was submitted by many of you. Yvonne’s image really jumped out at us. The sun flare captured in this image added a magic to the shoes. When we think of red slippers we think of the Wizard of Oz and all the magic of the movie. I remember watching the movie as a little girl and having my own pair of red slippers that I insisted on wearing with my white flower girl dress. The shoes were magical to me, and Yvonne has done a great job of capturing a magical element through her use of sun flare. Can’t you almost see those shoes tapping on their own? I also like how Yvonne filled the frame with the shoes. The background is free of distraction and all our attention is on the magic of the shoes. Yvonne, I would love to know how you set up this shot! If you are comfortable with sharing that would be great! Thank you for submitting your image, and congrats on becoming one of the Top Five Finalists!
There you have em’! The Top Five Finalists for the Inspirational Object Photo Contest! Each on is truly inspiring. Now you have the tough job of voting for ONE!
FAQ #1: How do you vote?
Answer: Just click on the pink word “Comments” at the end of this blog post. Put the # of photo your voting for first (it makes counting the votes way faster), and then add a few words about why you like their image the most. Remember, your comments and feedback give to the Five Finalists more than any prize from us. Please be kind, encouraging, and share all that you can with these wonderful Five Finalists! Your feedback on their images is priceless! That’s why we do the Random Voter Awards, because we appreciate your voting and feedback so much. So spread the word to family and friends! And ask them to vote!
Please vote only one time for one image. Thanks!
FAQ #2: Is there a Photo Contest happening right now? And when is the Deadline?
Answer: Yes! We picked the theme Simple Gifts Theme right before the holidays. You must send an image that in some way conveys the theme Simple Gifts. The deadline was January 4th, but since I forgot about the contest during my “unplugged” time off, we should extend the deadline. Don’t you think? Let’s make the Deadline for Simple Gifts, Sunday, January 25th 2009 PST . Send your images as an attached JPG (small in size) to [email protected] . Prizes will be as good as what you read below!
FAQ #3: What are the prizes?
Answer: Scroll on down!!
Click here for Seven Quick Photo Tips to photographing your own Inspirational Object!
Prizes for the Winning Finalist and the Random Voter Winners!!______________________________________________________________________________________
Don’t forget to vote before you leave! You could be picked as a Random Voter and win a gift card to Starbucks or a copy of Adobe ‘s Lightroom ! Yep, that’s right! You heard me say it correct! (but FYI, remember to check back when I post the Random Voter Winners so you know that you’ve won and can claim your prize! )
In our last photo contest , we had over 487 votes by the cut off time! It was amazing! You all spread the word, and the votes came rolling in! If we clear 500 votes (that’s only 13 more than last time) on this contest , we are going to pick a Random Voter (not necessarily #500, but a RANDOM Voter) to win a copy of Adobe ‘s Lightroom software again!! And then we’ll keep going and pick two more Random Voters who win a $25 customized, cool looking Starbucks card! So that’s one Random Winner of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and TWO more random winners of $25 customized Starbucks cards, if we clear 500!
Deadline for all voting is this Monday night, 5 days from now, 1/12, at midnight PST!! That means we have to clear 500 votes by that time for two Random Voters to be picked and win Lightroom !
Prize for being the Winner of the Five Finalists!!!
Now what about the finalist’s prize! What will they get?
Great question! The finalist will get their choice of one of our 101 Kits or the downloadable version of our Refuse to Say Cheese/Beyond the Green Box DVD series. And then , and THEN (we’re hooking our Finalists up for 2009! ), they also get to choose between one of two MORE things!
1. Their own copy of Adobe’s Lightroom Software
2. Or the most unique prize ever, a copy of the newly released DVD “See the Light” by Carlos Baez! Watch the trailer by clicking the title. Carlos is not only a dear friend, but he is also a PHENOMENAL photographer who has years experience in the fashion and wedding industry and is now sharing his knowledge on lighting with the wedding and portrait world. This guy is loaded with tips and strategies on lighting. We just got our own copy of his DVD, and I can’t wait to watch it. Carlos is a master with lighting, and on top of that he has a HUGE heart for teaching people. Just watching him work with his clients is amazing. Your business can’t help but go to the next level with this new DVD. Check out his blog! To purchase Carlos’s new DVD, check out the Photography Mentor store. Retail Price for “See the Light” is $175.
Enjoy! VOTE AWAY!!!
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