Portrait Winners!!

Oh what the heck- Ill post this before I leave for the airport. Here there are- the top portrait photos!!

Let me say this…All the honorable mentions are there for a reason, in this case you can see there are more than 5. Any honorable mention is there because it was extremely close to being a top 5 image but there may have been one or two very things that the winners did have. I will pick on the picture of the girl on the far right. I thought this was an extremely awesome portrait, in fact, hanging on the wall of any home, it is fabulous! The reason it didn’t place (and it would have been in the top 3) is because it is just a little too soft (in terms of focus), and that was it. The top 4 were perfect in terms of sharpness, especially in the eyes.

Congratulations to the top winners!

1- Shannon Morgan
2- Scott Roeben
3. Carol Call
4. Zack Baker
5. Leif Cole

Honorable Mentions- Mike Cruz, Kathy Simmons, Ron Payne, Pamela Smette, Melynda Bean, Mark Eisele, Heather Jennings, Rebecca Payne


Photography Contest Prizes | Suggestions?

As you know we have expanded the number of prizes since announcing the contest, so I wanted to list the possible available prizes-

For Each Category:

1st Place – Choice of either Michael Andrew Paintballer Pro or Michael Andrew Lollipops
2nd Place- Choice of ANY Michael Andrew DVD from Store
3rd Place- 20 Minute Phone call with Michael to discuss anything you would like about photography
4th Place- Portfolio Review and Suggestions by Michael Andrew- Up to 40 images
5th Place- Lens Cleaning Kit

I would also like the flexibility to let higher place winners choose lower prizes if they would want them instead, but I dont want to complicate anything either.

All entrants and award winners will also receive a download-able PDF certificate.

I am open to any more suggestions if you have them. I would like to focus on prizes that are service based (me doing something for you) or prizes available in the store.

Im about to head to the airport, wont get to Vegas until later tonight but I will post the top 10 winners as soon as I can. 🙂


Photography Contest | Wall Shots

Wanted to Post the Wall Shots of the Images from the Photography Contest.

First of all let me say, I was amazed by the talent we had entering. EVERY single image we received was really outstanding. It was a nightmare deciding which ones to advance to the top 10, and in most cases, it didn’t come down to an artistic or compositional issue, the most common issues we found were technical elements, such as sharpness or noise issues. There were several images that would have placed in the top 5 of each of their categories had they been just slightly sharper or not so much noise. So I please want everyone to know, if you didnt place in the top 10, it wasnt because I didnt think your images deserved merit or recognition, which they all did. It came down to a few minor little issues which the top 10 had which the others didnt. A good example was the portrait category, the 1st-3rd images were chosen simply because the focus on their eyes were outstanding.

If you dont see your image on the wall, we had a great reason for it, either:

1. We didnt receive it on time
2. We didnt receive your information about your images (we had about a dozen of these, images with no info)
3. It was removed from consideration because you had a similar image in a similar category. We had 6-9 such cases, where perhaps someone had entered 2 landscapes but submitted one under an “abstract” when it was clearly a landscape, so we had to do some shuffling around and remove a few others to be fair.
4. There are a few other reasons we removed some from the competition for reasons I would rather not go into here.

To be as fair as possible, each image which was entered into the contest was assigned a category and number. This prevented me from knowing exactly who entered which image (although in some cases I knew anyway, but in 95% I had no clue who entered what). Originally, we had an elaborate system used to grade each picture, but in the end, we decided that it would be best for me to study each image and rate them by strength of composition,artistic vision, then technical skill and then reduce scores for flaws or anything that would have obviously made the image stronger. Of course, much of this is subjective, but this initial judging was done almost entirely by myself. So if your image didnt make it to the top 10-15, you mostly have me to blame. I hope we can still be friends! 🙂

Once we had the strongest 10-15 in each group, the images were re-judged with the workshop attendees contributing their thoughts and ideas. There was plenty of discussion and this was not taken lightly. The final judging alone took 2 hours. We left the top 10 images up for an extra day before making any final choices and I am confident that we picked the right ones for each of the top 10.

Here are the original wall shots: I tried to make them as large as possible so please be patient for them to load:

Portrait Wall: Landscape Wall: Macro Wall: (sorry about missing the one in the top left corner!)Abstract Wall:Sports / Action Wall:


Day 230 – A HUGE Thank You!!

I know it hasnt entirely hit yet, but I am feeling a deep sense of gratitude to everyone who contributed to helping me to complete this trip. I would have to say, most of the credit has to go to the hosts who stepped up and volunteered. I was talking with my good friend Mike Madsen about this tonight, I really dont think any of it would have been possible without the hosts. Every single one of you was absolutely phenomenal and I couldnt have asked for anything more in terms of planning. I was so impressed that you were willing and able to do this and make it happen, even though we had never met.

I am equally thankful and grateful to everyone who could make it to the workshops. Your interest and enthusiasm, as well as meeting you in person, and watching you learn, grow, and get excited the way you did has proven to me that what I am doing with my life is important and valuable. Its extremely rewarding for me to know that I am helping others and making a difference.

There were also several people who helped with various logistics. Mike and Adam both drove up from Alabama to shoot the 3 days at Nashville, Leah stepped up big time for the mock bridal shoot.

Lastly, I want to say thank you to everyone who supports me, even if you weren’t able to attend a workshop. We had an amazing turn out on the contest, ~250 images, an amazing amount of support on the blog, forum and facebook. I received many emails from many people just wishing me well and success on the trip- you will never understand how all these little pieces of encouragement kept me going and you all mean so much to me.

I think the absolute best part of the trip was meeting and working with everyone face to face. I feel like I have 80+ new friends. 🙂

Surrounding yourself with people who believe in you is extremely powerful and I am more aware of this than I ever have been. Do not underestimate it for yourself as well. Find those who believe in you and in return, believe in them. Everyone will win this way.

4 months, 23 Workshop days, 80+ attendees, 22,000 Miles by car alone, 1 DVD Finished, portions of 5 more DVDs were shot on the trip and are in the works. I also have a mess (about 25) of shorter videos I havent even gotten around to editing yet – shot at different landmarks all over the country.

A day of rest and then back to Vegas and on to Mesa!

For tonight’s 365, I wanted to try to convey what I am feeling, even though it hasn’t entirely hit:I know many of you are wondering what the deal is with the photography contest. We have the 10 finalists for each category and will be opening a vote for the number one prize shortly. More to come…Ill try to post wall shots of all the photos tomorrow and explain how the judging went and why it did things the way we did. Crashing for now. 🙂


Day 229 – Judging my 1st Photography Contest

Spent a good 2 hours of today’s workshop finishing the cataloging, numbering, organizing, posting and judging of all the images sent it to the photography contest. Kelly has done a great job with it, there are so many things to keep track of. We have narrowed it down to the top 10 images in each category. I took pictures of each wall, so I will be posting more images tomorrow. Just wanted to post this 365 before I crash. (There are 3 categories here, Macro, Abstract and Portraits).

I absolutely wanted to say thank you to each and everyone of you who entered. You all have such wonderful and different ways to compose and I loved seeing your world through your eyes. It was extremely hard to narrow it down to the top 10 as most of them were really outstanding.

More to come!