“Why Do You Love Photography?” Luminance Contest Winners, Week 1

“Why Do You Love Photography?” Luminance Contest Winners, Week 1

Luminance 2012, PhotoShelter’s conference happening this September, is quickly approaching, and we want to make sure that all in attendance are surrounded by people who love photography.

Luminance speakers are leaders from FacebookGoogleLytroBehance20×200,Christie’sHipstamatic, and many more. If you’re a photographer, technologist, designer, or care about the direction of photography, this event is right up your alley.

So we asked, “Why do you love photography?” and every week we’re picking 3 winners to win two tickets each to the event, plus the #ilovephotography party.  We will be announcing the winners every Thursday on The PhotoShelter Blog.

We combed through all of the entrants up to July 18th, and after rounds of deep thought and careful readings, we have come up with our top three photography-lovers. In no particular order, we’re all set to share them with you now.  Here are this week’s winners:

1. Ethan Sigmon:

The power behind the lens is one of the most extraordinary technological advancements. I think it is that unique ability to simultaneously be 100% democratic, yet entirely autocratic that makes this medium stand out. The lens has the power to create, destroy, honor, conceal, and propagate in a single click. A medium that hangs on the fringes of the fine arts, yet has fully nurtured the growth of not only our culture, but our entire species, and that, ultimately, is why I love photography. It has seen so much more than we have and can as individuals. As our society advances, so to does photography. I believe that through this medium, we have a duty to continue photography legacy, to be revolutionary, to create a better world, and to show others how beautiful each and every person truly is.

2. Michelle Lawlor:

Why do I love photography? I love photography because it has taken me places I never thought I’d go, introduced me to people I never thought I’d meet, and has completely opened my eyes, heart and mind to a bigger world around me.

What started as a hobby thanks to my grandparents and their yard sale bargain hunting turned into me finding my true calling and I’ve never felt more fulfilled than I do when I am photographing.

With a camera in hand I have the power to REALLY CONNECT with the people around me, whereas otherwise I may keep to myself and be silent. It provides me with a way to reach out and really get to know the truly wonderful beings that surround me.

With one click, I can magically preserve emotion, action, feeling, and moments in time for all eternity. I am consistently amazed at how photography can turn sadness over the loss of a loved one into the instant remembrance of a happy memory, and can remind us that life is so incredibly precious.

These incredible mechanical boxes on straps helped me find my true heart, and in turn let me touch the hearts of others, and there really isn’t anything better than that. <3

3. Tom R. Chambers:

I have loved photography since 1972 when my Hippie girlfriend placed a Pentax in my hands, opened my mind’s eye, and showed me how to make prints in the darkroom. Her passion became my passion and today, I have close to 45 personal exhibitions involving photography to my credit. Each time I pick up the camera, I think of this encounter 40 years ago.


We would like to thank all of our enthusiastic entrants on their fantastic posts and contributions.  Remember, you still have a chance to enter for next, this contest is on-going and the rules are still the same.

Enter for your chance to win! We’ll be picking 3 winners every week until the big event.

To enter:

  1. Share this link on your Facebook page, tweet @photoshelter, or hit the ‘Like’ button on this blog post to help spread the word and let people know you’re excited for the event. Then,
  2. Post your response to “Why do you love photography?” as a comment below in this blog. Be sure to enter your full name and website in the comment fields provided so we can contact you.

Contest Rules:

  1. We ask that contestants share this blog post link on their Facebook page, on Twitter by tweeting @photoshelter, or by hitting the ‘Like’ button on this blog post.
  2. Contestants must submit their response to “Why do you love photography?” as a blog comment on this post.
  3. PhotoShelter will announce the winner every Thursday on PhotoShelter’s Facebook and Twitter page. We’ll also shoot the winners an email to let them know it’s their lucky day.
  4. Contest ends on Thursday, September 6, 2012.

Good luck!

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There are 3 comments for this article
  1. Natalie Wi at 7:35 pm

    It has been said that with great success come many failures, so I’m trying for the opportunity to win the tickets to Luminance again.

    I always knew that I wanted to be a photographer; as a kid, I would sit on the living room floor, spending hours upon hours scouring through decades of National Geographic magazines, imaging myself traveling the world and documenting different cultures as a photographer.  As the years went by,  I discovered that I was also good with languages and so I chose to study International Affairs in college since I was under the impression that  it was a more “viable” career choice than photography.

    Days  before the  second semester of my last year began, my father passed away unexpectedly.  I took the semester off to spend time with my family and re-evaluate my life.  It was during that time that I met so many people who begrudgingly worked an uninspiring job day after day and I realized that I still had the opportunity to live my dreams and feel passionate about my work every day of my life. 

    I also remember looking through old photographs my grandmother had from during the war and it amazed me that no matter how difficult life was for her and her family as they were forced to flee from Ukraine and live as refugees, hidden in a concentration camp in Germany, to making new homes in Brazil and then America, they always made the time and found the money to have a family portrait taken.

    In the semester prior to my father’s death, I took a b&w photo class and after his passing, his cousin told me that I had inspired my father to consider selling his business to open a photography studio.  That’s when I knew I was making the right choice.

    I changed my major when I returned to school and since it was so drastically different from my original International Affairs major, I had to study for an additional 3 years.  I also secured a position in the lab at National Geographic with the intention of becoming a National Geographic photographer.  However, during that time, my husband and I learned that we were expecting our first child and I was again faced with an opportunity to re-evaluate the path I had chosen.  I knew that I wanted to be a part of my child’s every day life, which ruled out any travel for a while.   That was when my husband and I opened our first event photography studio.

    I could keep going but the point is that I love photography because it has afforded me the opportunity to live my life as I’ve needed and wanted through the years.  It has been flexible and grown with me.  It creates opportunities for me to travel when I want to and is also flexible enough to sustain me during those periods when I want to be home.

    In the past 15 years, I have opened 3 successful studios in 3 cities across the US.  I love photography because with it, I can do it all and I can do it anywhere.  I can be an artist, a business woman, a world traveler and a mom. I am a photographer.

  2. Justyne W at 8:45 am

    I was told growing up that I always used to find a fancy in cameras. Whenever we needed to take a picture, you could always find me behind the camera shooting away. Pretty sure I racked up a hefty bill with our old film cameras.

    I finally purchased my own dslr camera body and lenses over the past 3 years and fell in love. I’m seeing things through a different eye. Now I take my time to look a scene over and get those unique shots that many others will miss. I like to look for a creative spin on a given scene rather than just shoot what everybody else sees. I love being able to express yourself through the pictures you take; to show everyone what you see, how you feel and who you are as a person.

    Recently, I tested the waters at a wedding and found how exciting being under pressure for ‘that’ shot can be! My favorite still would be shooting sports. As I’ve become more comfortable with my camera, I’ve tried different techniques, one such being depth of field. I can’t get enough of the effects you can create while shooting sports. It’s unreal and amazing.

    I always used to wonder how people got their pictures in magazines. But now I believe, if you put your mind to it, anyone can get what they dream.

  3. matt steffen at 2:45 pm

    why i love photography:

    I bought my first camera when i was 7 years old with money from a paper route. I would spend my week and most of the money on film and developing, taking pictures of whatever i could find. In the last 30 years, little has changed in that regard.

    While the digital revolution has changed most aspects of how I work, I’m still a wide-eyed 7 year old looking through what I’ve just shot. There’s still magic in that box. I find that I am more aware of my surroundings, more connected to people and living my life with intent. Who knows what this industry will be like in 30 years. All that is certain is I’ll be making images of what is in front of me.

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