Took 3 Ribbons in the Fair - and will never do it again..


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Feb 7, 2009
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S. Idaho
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Entered the County Fair this year – put in 8 photographs in different divisions/categories and won 3 ribbons – one First, Second and Third.. I thought that was pretty good for a first timer…

I went to pick up my pictures, and was told that next year I need to enter my photographs in the “Professional” division. I promptly reminded her that I was not anywhere near a “Professional” and she stated …. “Have you ever sold your pictures?” – I said that I have sold a couple, and she said that she rec’d some complaints and that people have been to my website and determined I’m a professional… (Who .. the ones that didn’t win anything??) She stated that my work is good enough to be in the professional category and I’ll need to enter it there next year or I can’t participate…

OK – the requirements are that a “Professional” is one who has either taught photography, or makes a living in photography, or has ever taken a picture with the intent of making a profit off of it… I’m neither. I just love to take pictures, and if someone wants one, I’m not an idiot… the same as that little old lady who makes quilts – and would sell one if someone wanted one.. that dzn’t make her a professional quilter!


“Following an occupation as a means of livelihood” …. Nope, not me.
“Undertaken or engaged in as a means of livelihood” …. Nope, not me..

I took up the camera just 2 years ago and learned what I know by reading magazines, books, and internet forums ……. If I was to compete in the “Professional” division, I’d be up against people who have formal education in this field; have done it for 30 years, and make a living doing it ……. Again, that’s just not me.

This was the first – and last – time I entered my pictures in the fair …. Certainly didn’t do it for the total of $6 in premiums I won – it cost me $4 in gas to go over there and pick them up… the ribbons will go in a drawer and I’ll forget where they are in a couple of months, so … this isn’t a real big deal to me.. I’ll take this as a huge compliment, and move on .. I can’t also help but feel it’s a way to just get rid of me. Of all the ribbons that were given out, I was the only person who won more than one. - I won 3. It’s a shame that if they didn’t like me winning, then they just need to take a better picture than me, right? Not relegate me out of the field.. There were a ton of pictures there that were better than mine .. it’s not a hard thing to do. I think I just got lucky, and some folks didn’t like it.

Anyway – just a quick *****…

Well that sucks - 32" of Hg worth. Congrats on the prizes, but once again, it's that "Oh, you're better than the average bear with a camera, you must be a professional" prejudice. Personally, I'd be tempted to fight it just on principle.
You just need to step up your game now. :lmao:
Someone probably complained because the photo of their cat didn't win. :roll:

There are plenty of other fairs and plenty of other contests.
Sorry for the people complaining and hard time but congrats on the ribbons, anyway. Enjoy that you won and dont let some sorry sack ruin it for you!
Appreciate the comments .... and - in fact, I have changed my mind... I think I'll enter next year and actually compete in the professional catagory.. Perhaps it'll make me stretch a little, and- I'd like to see how I do ... :D

After all, it's just really for fun anyway.... but - if I actually end up beating a 'Pro' - well, I'd just have to end up getting bigger hats ... :lmao:

tks again...
I entered stuff into the county fair this year and yeah, i don't know if i'd do it again.
The pictures that should have won (not necessarily mine), didn't.

The only pictures that won blue ribbons were pictures of animals and babies.

I used to do cake decorating in the fair, and they knocked off points for me being "too advanced"..Of course, that made me mad, but I also took it as a compliment! They must REALLY like your work! :)
So where are the winning pics!?
All kidding aside grats Ottor. Tell em to pull up their big girl/boy panties and deal. Where in the world does it say amateurs cant be bloody brilliant. Same place it says all professionals act that way.
The pics that won?


1st place in "Abstract" - This was done by hanging a MagLight from the ceiling by a string and putting the camera on the floor in "Bulb" mode - taped a cover on the light and poked a hole in it - swung the light over the camera for about a 3 minute exposure..


2nd Place in "Action"


3rd Place in Black/White Landscapes


I'd fight it if I were you. Were the definitions of professional theirs? Or yours? If it was theirs, the burden of proof is on them to prove that you are or are not a professional and they should give you a reason beyond, "You need to enter your photos in the Professional division next year." On the other hand, entering the pro category would likely be a good test and let you learn and grow more as a photographer, so just it might be worth while to just take it as a compliment and enter in the next category.

I really like the shots you entered. The first one is just cool, and I think I might try it at some point. Such a simple idea, but creates a fantastic effect. Is the second one a composite? I really like it, and it's a fantastic shot. But the way the three riders are separated from the background just looks composited to me. Not saying it is, because it looks great anyway. I think you've posted the last one here before. Is that the one that (I think it was you, anyway) got on the cover of your local phonebook? It's a fantastic shot. Very nice work all around. :)

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