Winning awards for photography give me mixed feelings, but with recent discussions with people close to me the best advice is: remember to hang your photography awards!
I still consider myself an amateur photographer. who knows, maybe I will never think of myself a professional photographer, but that has to do with my attitude toward it. I’ll never win enough, exhibit enough, or sell enough to think of myself as such. I think the day I can make a living off of photos then maybe I can say that, but until then….nope.
Last Friday(Jan 8, 2016) I attended my art reception for the Annual Junior-Scholarship exhibition. The Wednesday prior I was called by the club to make sure I was attending the reception because I had won the Anthony Almeida Award for Photography. I was super happy! It was the only award I wanted to win, and I did! Holy crap! I actually had the privileged to meet Anthony, and he is a really great photographer, a very down to earth guy. I was so happy to have met him!
The reception was great. I had a lot of support, people I invited showed up, and I had a great time catching up with folks. I received my award and then went to dinner with a few close friends afterwards. The highlight, and reason for this post is a conversation that I had with my Fiance and my friend John.
I forget how the conversation started…of course right. It was about the certificate that I got for the award. What do you do with the piece of paper? I don’t know I just throw them in a folder… is what I sort of said. To that they laughed at me. My fiance is, most of the time, prouder than I am when I win something. I always think in my head “Well, it was no big deal.” He always pushes me to get it in a frame and put it on our wall. I think this is trivial. I don’t know why. These aren’t awards where everyone that participates gets something. Not the whole millennial bs. I actually beat people. A jurer went around the exhibit and got to mine and said “Wow, give this girl an award.” So, when I think about it that way I should be super happy!
The thought of hanging up a photography award in my own house is weird because it makes me feel so full of myself. Now, mind you I do hang up my own pictures that I’ve have in previous exhibitions. I have long hallways and two of them at that. The push for that also came from my fiance. He says “Why waste good art?” Otherwise it’ll just sit in a pile against the wall forever. Because hanging my own artwork also fell under the whole arrogance category. I’m apparently way too modest.
I just love a lot of my pieces though so, after me and my fiance talked about it I decided to put them up…well he did when I wasn’t home, but he knew I was okay with the idea. Although I did rearrange them. I love hanging art shows!
So, the conversation that happened with my friend and fiance at the art show reception was useful just with one fact that was said: “Ya know when you’re having a crap day and when you come home, walk in and then you see the award, its motivation, and it picks you back up.” This! This is so true. It’s the “hey, look what I did!” kinda thing.
I definitely appreciate when I win something. But I never hung any of them. Hell, even all those awards I won in high school or college, the trophies I got. I never put them up. Those moments of winning give you the high you need and want in life. You hang your photography award for the simple fact that you wont always be at that high point. You need to hang them for the low points in life.
Don’t just put them in a drawer, folder, or thrown them out. They give you he damn piece of paper for a reason.