Yes, that’s right… that would be me! Yours truly. It’s been a couple weeks and I’m still in shock over it. I am just beyond honored, thrilled, and humbled to be the recipient of such a distinguished honor. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and such a coveted title that I simply don’t have all the words to encompass what it means to me.
Let me back up just a bit to give some context. What is the NAPCP? It is the National Association of Professional Child Photographers, an organization with 700 members worldwide that provides resources and support for the community of professional child and family photographers. There are many active, supportive photography organizations out there. I’m a member of several. Some teach you how to shoot and edit, or instruct you how to handle your photo session and what to do to create authentic connection. However, many of those organizations are for photographers across all different genres of photography. They’re open to all different skill levels and not just for those running a business. What I love in particular about NAPCP is that they specifically support what I specialize in – professional family photography. So it means even more to me to receive this incredible honor from the NAPCP.
NAPCP has been awarding Photographer of the Year since 2010. I’m excited to be the first to represent California and also the first Asian. I’m proud to represent both communities. This achievement is awarded based on several factors. If you’d like to read more about it, you can find the details here. In general though, it’s a culmination of how well you do in image competitions, your overall contribution to the organization, your community involvement, and your professional work and online presence. In addition to all of this, I also hold the honor of Master Photographer in the family category, mentioned in this previous post.
In the fall, my business will be 5 years old. I’ve put my heart and soul into it. I came from the software industry where I spent 17 years testing software applications. How does that help me in my business now? It taught me about time management and working with others. It trained my eye to observe all the little details. I was paid to notice things that other people would miss. Now I do it in an artistic manner and not a technical one. It’s one thing to capture beautiful images, but it’s another thing to also run a profitable business for it. I’ve learned so much since 2017 when it all officially started.
So now what? I hold this distinct privilege of being Photographer of the Year, so what will I do with it? Will anything change? Well, first and foremost, I will keep pursuing couples, maternity, and family photography. It’s at the heart of what I love doing and ultimately what helped me arrive to this point. I’ve recently started adding video to my sessions and I’m in love with the result as are my clients, so that will be a new feature. But in addition to this, I am going to pursue different personal projects. I have a vision for one in particular to eventually be published, and not just for the sake of being published, but to hopefully have a positive impact on a larger level. It is a personal project about adoption, told from the perspective of motherhood and highlighting the complex emotion of grief. The project is told from the perspective of 3 types of mothers – the birth mother, the adoptive mother, and the adoptee who has become a mother herself. I personally fall into that third category. There is an aspect of grief that I’m wanting to uncover and then photograph, both from a conceptual and a literal perspective. I’m excited to bring this project to life and my hope is that it sheds light on a topic not often discussed, brings healing to some, and connects us by a shared human experience.
I know there is more to come after receiving this major career achievement and I just hope you stay tuned because the best is still yet to come!
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