Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Even though I post a lot of my work here on fotonomous and a few other places on the web (like flickr, facebook, myspace, jpg), I'm actually fairly protective of my work. I usually post pretty small versions and sometimes I hold back a few pieces that are just for me. In the case of my Polaroid photo of Sandra Bernhard ("Sandra's Stare") I hadn't shown it anywhere until I decided it was a worthy candidate to participate in JPG Magazine's Polaroid Portrait competition. I'm not big on online photo contests but I think that JPG Magazine has some great work up and I like that they have so many themes you can contribute to. So after much deliberation, I decided it was time to publically unveil Sandra. I posted it on, flickr, and on fotonomous. I've never gotten as much positive feedback online as I have for that photo. People really seemed to dig it - fans of Sandra, fans of Polaroid, just photographers in general. I'm sure Sandra's celebrity status added to the recognition, but I also know that the portrait stands alone as a great photo. Sometimes I question the ability of a photo to stand alone. Sometimes I question the quality. Sometimes I question the interestingness (is it interesting to just me or also to other people?). In the case of this particular shot, I had the more rare case of confidence all around. I uploaded to the jpg competition fairly late, so I didn't know what my real chances to place were. I've submitted to jpg before and never had one of my photos declared "HOT" (which puts the photo in a whole other viewing category "sort photos by hotness" - meaning many more people see your photo). Well Sandra got declared "HOT" - my first jpg victory! When you submit to a jpg competition, they always let you know if you placed or not. I've had several emails saying sorry, try again (well actually the tone was a little nicer than that). But it had been awhile and I hadn't received any news about the Polaroid Portrait competition. Well as of late last night, I have fantastic news to report, "Sandra's Stare" is being published by jpg magazine in their next issue! I don't know if I'm the sole winner of the competition or one of several. But not only is jpg publishing my image, they're also paying me (wow, actual currency!) and giving me a free year's subscription. Color me very excited! So thank everyone for the great feedback on the photo, thanks to Sandra for being a great sitter, and I'll report more when the image gets published.

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