Friday, February 29, 2008

Swimsuit Contest Begins!

The contest begins! Well, at least, the photography has begun. We are looking for at least 50 people to compete for our "Men & Women of the Willamette Valley" swimsuit calendar. Do you know someone (perhaps yourself?) who would enjoy posing for Cherie's camera? Please help us get the word out. We need more entries for the contest to fly -- There is no cost - no obligation - just a lot of fun.

By the way, the images shown here are not their contest entries - they're just a preview of the fun that we're having. See the website for details, and consider joining the fun!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Cherie Wins at State Convention!

I won Best Portrait of a Man at the annual Professional Photographers of Oregon convention! I can’t tell you how exciting it was to hear my name called. This portrait, commissioned as a commercial piece for Salem Senateaires, is truly an expression of my creativity and passion, and I was so happy to have that passion recognized.

While the accolades of clients are the best (and truest) statement about the quality of portrait art, I have to admit that it is also thrilling to receive the affirmation of peers. And with my success at this convention, I have also earned enough points to receive the Associate Fellow Photographer designation. (Although designations are only awarded annually, so I will have to wait until February 2009 to be officially recognized.)


Well, I warned you…

As you know, membership in professional organizations is one of the crucial pieces in growing and developing in our careers, whatever careers we have chosen. Attending classes and seminars keeps us abreast of new developments and new ideas. The feedback and instruction of peers brings us to higher pinnacles than we would achieve alone. Studying and working toward professional designations ensures quality, be it a photographer or a physician or an auto mechanic.

That’s why I belong to the national, state and local associations. I encourage everyone looking for a photographer to ask what associations they are affiliated with, and what designations they have earned. (Or, just save yourself time and come to me...) :)

Would you go to a doctor who wasn’t a member of the AMA? Would you use an attorney who wasn’t a member of the state Bar? Would you pay a hairdresser who’d never graduated from beauty school? It is the same with photography.

Because I can minister to my children’s boo-boos doesn’t mean that I’m qualified to set a bone. Because I can successfully negotiate a lower price on a vehicle doesn’t mean that I can argue a case in court. Because I can snap dozens of photos of my children and come up with a reasonable one now and then doesn’t mean I am a professional. Professionals work at their craft. They associate with other like-minded professionals. They study. They grow.

OK, I’m off my soapbox now.
I just wanted to express exactly WHY the honor I received this past weekend was so meaningful to me, and why it should matter to my current and future clients.

I’m so excited – come visit me and see my trophy!