Over a month ago I had something beyond exciting happen to me that I never thought would. I'm almost still shaking with nervous excitement as I finally get around to writing about it.
My complete and total idol, Pioneer Woman, announced her latest photography 'assignment' early in April. She previously had an assignment with the theme of 'Sisters' and said that she would do a 'Brothers' assignment down the road. During the 2010 baseball season I had taken a bunch of pictures of my boys playing baseball. There were some really neat shots of the two of them together (blogged about them here). I knew that these were the photos that I was going to submit. I had them loaded to Flickr and ready to go for time she announced the Brothers assigment.
With PW's assigments you can submit up to one picture per day. I submitted my favorite photo first. The photo was of my son, Ben, running into the arms of his big brother after he hit his first home run. The was a particularly special event in our lives, as Ben is younger than most of his team and has been playing 'up' with his brother and teammates since he was 7 years old. He is the lead-off batter for the team and just hit a bomb to the outfield that rolled into oblivion. My older son, Jack's, expression is priceless. He was so happy for Ben.
So I submitted this photo on PW's Flickr group and later that evening had received a handful of email comments from my Flickr account. Cool, I thought and went to check them out and see how many views the photo received. When I looked it was at over 3,000 views - the most I have ever had by far! I immediately looked at PW's site and she had not posted the finalists for Day One yet. But everytime I refreshed Flickr the views were rolling in by the hundreds...even thousands.
I was very confused about the attention the photo was getting so I posted a comment to the picture asking what was going on. One of the viewers quickly replied that PW had tweeted a link and comment about the picture! I quickly joined Twitter to get a look and sure enough, she posted a sweet comment about the picture with the Flickr link.
I could barely fall asleep that night thinking about the attention this picture was getting. It was a nervous excitedment, one I can't really explain. I'm just the type of person who doesn't like to be the center of attention.
So sure enough the Day 1 finalists were posted and mine was selected and appeared on the front page of PW's site. The number of views went berserk and there were so many great comments from PW's readers supporting the photo. I felt like I was living in a dream.
After 5 days of daily finalists she picked the assignment finalists and I made the cut. Still numb and queesy with excitement. I couldn't wait up that night for the winner to be announced. I wanted to win so badly but knew I might not. The quality of all the photos submitted to that assignment and every other are so good......
In the morning while I was getting the kids breakfast my friend, Deb, called me with the news that I WON!!!! I couldn't believe. I was in total shock....and still am. This is like a dream come true. It's one of the most exciting things that has happened to me since getting married and having my babies!!!
A couple weeks later I received my loot:
I still haven't decided what I'm going to use it for - a new lens or new camera body or ???!!!! The possibilities are endless and exciting.
I have been entering every one of PW's giveaways and assignments for the last few years. I never thought I would achieve a win. This just goes to show that you can't win if you don't play...and you don't have to be a 'pro' to win.
Woo hoo!!!!!! My next mission - to get to PW's ranch to meet her in person!!!