jenna regan awards winning photo dallas equine photography in the fall with paint horse

On August 31st at 11:59 pm I quickly pressed submit on my very first international photography competition submission.

It was a last minute effort, as the deadline had slipped my mind (I’m guessing photographing 30 pets in August alone had something to do with that) and I wasn’t sure I’d even make the cut-off time as everything seemed to be working against me that evening.

I was home getting ready for bed when it hit me… the deadline… it’s either now or next year. Hmm, I debated with myself before deciding I just needed to do it now… even though I really liked the sound of just calling it a night already since I was exhausted.

The good news was I already had this photo in mind as my entry. Of course, I do have many, many photos of horses, dogs, cats, and more I could have submitted but I wanted to try for an award with this one in particular.

See it means a lot to me because not only do I love it for its aesthetic beauty and technical creativity- I also treasure it because it’s an image of my own horse Chrome. He’s now 9-year-old gelding I bought as an untouched 2-year-old colt, and I took this photo of him last year on Thanksgiving Day 2017.

It’s an image and wall art piece I had envisioned long before pressing the shutter down on my camera. I love those big sycamore leaves, the orange glow of sunset, my red roan gelding, and that big tree.

I planned the image out actually. That included raking leaves and bringing a few alfalfa cubes to bribe Chrome into participating. I coordinated everything just at the right time as the sun went down on what was definitely my only day “off” in November, because it was Thanksgiving after all. And imagine that, I ended up with a camera in my hand anyway!

But in the present, as the deadline loomed, I couldn’t find the finished image- only a RAW image straight out of the camera, which wasn’t contest-ready by any means. Back to Photoshop I went.

Time ticked on and fortunately, I had the editing finished and still time to submit. But then the internet connection started booting me offline and then once connected it was so very painfully slow.

I pressed on, attached the image, and moved onto sharing my camera settings, image description, my information, and category selection on the entry. I dwelled on what to say, naturally.

But once again the internet issues caused my “submit” button to send me to a “you’re not connected” webpage. All my info lost…

Right about then I almost didn’t try again. I saw the time was nearly midnight and knew there was the potential that I wouldn’t get this entry in before the deadline and all of this would have been for nothing.

But I figured I made it this far so I kept going. Redoing the submission, fighting with the internet connection and somehow managing to get everything done just in the nick of time. All for one single chance to win in a pool of thousands throughout the world.

I didn’t know what to expect but at the beginning of October, I received great news!! I was awarded an Honorable Mention for my equine photography submission in the International Photography Awards.

What are the International Photography Awards? On the website it states:

Our mission: To salute the achievements of the World’s finest photographers, to discover new and emerging talent, and to promote the appreciation of photography.

The International Photography Awards™ conducts an annual competition for professional, amateur, and student photographers on a global scale, creating one of the most ambitious and comprehensive competitions in the photography world today.

It’s a great honor to have my photography awarded in such a highly-regarded international stage and it means even more to me that it’s a special photo of my own horse.

And to top that off, I adored this image long before it was award-winning. Naturally, I needed this image in my home and on my walls. Since Christmas last year it has hung prominently as a big canvas wall art piece in my office at home. It lives far-beyond a screen or hard drive and is positioned in a way that I see it and it makes me smile every single day! (And maybe a little more-so now!)