Back in January, I decided to enter the free 'Shoot and Share' contest. It's a completely fair contest where photographers can enter up to 50 photos in 25 different categories. People view four photos and pick their favorite. Every photo is viewed the same amount of times. There is no information with the photo - so nobody knows whose photo belongs to who. If the photo got picked enough times in a round, it would move to the next round - there were 12 rounds. Voting took place over the course of February and they began to announce winners earlier this month. You had no idea how your photos were doing during the voting process unless your photo somehow got "favorited" - where you got an email saying that someone had chosen your photo as one of their favorites. This is not the same as "picking your favorite" or voting for a photo - there was a separate button that you could push to save your favorite photos to your profile and if one of your photos was "favorited," you would actually get an email saying that "someone LOVES your photo!"
At the first of March, I got an email that I was a 'finalist' - this meant that at least one of my photos had made it to the top 3.5% of ALL the photos in the contest. Hint - there were over 332,000 photos entered! This alone was more than I could of ever dreamed of. I'm a beginner. A newbie. An amateur. The photos entered were beautiful. GORGEOUS. There was a lot of inspiration for me to hold on to. So, I was pretty excited when I got this in my email. BUT THEN- there was the 'best of the best' round (the voting was over, but you could still vote for fun on the top 100 photos of each category).... and one of my photos got favorited! So, I KNEW I had one of my photos within the top 100.
After they had announced all of the top 20 of each category - they finally posted the results of the top 100 photos of each category... and wouldn't you know = out of 50 pictures, my most popular photo was this one above... with my sweet baby boy, D.O.G. ♥ I had several other photos go into the last few rounds, but this one went the farthest. I couldn't be happier and I'm SO excited about working on improving my work and entering my favorites of this year into next years contest!
Yes, his name is spelled like 'dog.' No, it's not pronounced that way - you say each of the letters, so it's more like Dee-oh-gee. My husband got this sweet great pyrenees before he had ever even heard of me. He got a little spoiled when he was a puppy, although that wasn't originally Jonathan's intention. Once I met him, (you know me - lover of all dogs...), I just fell in love! He was always full of energy and he just wanted you to pet him constantly. In December of 2014, we noticed that he had kind of been limping and one evening when we got home - he was literally crying in pain. Jonathan took him to the vet's office who informed us that he had bone cancer - apparently a common cancer found in large dogs such as his breed. She said he'd probably only live for 3 more months. I cried like a baby and then I prayed every single night that it wouldn't be his last night. We were able to get him some medicine to hopefully slow the tumor growth for a little while longer and help with the pain and before you knew it - he was back to his old self! He ran and played like nothing was wrong... and luckily, he lived just over another year, I'm so glad we got to spend that time with him. We lost in January 2016 and my heart completely broke. If there was anything, anything at all that I could of done more to prolong his life longer - I would of done it. He had a pretty good life though - he spent every day laying out in the yard like he loved to do.. and the day before he died - he had his biggest adventure: chasing a random pig down the highway. (I, on the other hand, panicked during this. haha) He loved to wander!
My heart still hurts and I'll never stop missing this sweet boy. I still sometimes look for him around the yard, and I think of him every single time it snows (he LOVED the snow). He was massive, but he wanted so badly to be a lap dog. He would wrap his paws around you to hug you and he would rub that sweet big ol' head against you ever chance he got. His size was scary, but his heart was kind. He was one of the sweetest dogs I've ever loved. He loved with every ounce of his soul, and I loved him just as much. ♥
I couldn't be more thrilled that HIS photo was my #1 photo. My heart is full.
I miss you so much, D.O.G.! xox.