Each morning, I sip my coffee and scan my emails on my phone. Not thinking much about it (or anything really at this time in the morning), I opened up an email announcing results to the 3rd Annual Julia Margaret Cameron Award by the Worldwide Photography Gala Awards. As I read the email, I completely forgot that I entered this contest back in December. I browsed the names of the selected winners and then I thought I saw my name. There had to be something in my eyes so I put my phone down, rubbed my eyes hard and drank more coffee before I looked again. Just to be sure, I clicked on the link to the selected winners and there was my image, "Christmas Bingo In Colorado" selected as 5th place in the Documentary and Editorial category! Shortly after that, I realized that because I am a finalist, my work will be shown in Paris in 2013! I am completely honored. Although I have circled the country for three years in my car, I have never been to Europe, so perhaps this is a good excuse to go.
Just last week, I was informed that this image was also selected by juror Holly Andres to be included in the Portraits exhibit at the Black Box gallery in Portland, Oregon. If you are in the area, the show will run from June 1st through the 22nd. I'm so thrilled to be a part of it.
Little did I know that what began as a curiosity of the game of bingo and the urge to document the players and culture, that ultimately, it would be so well received.
If you are new to my blog, here's a little background with my statement on this ongoing project:
"... While traveling in Maine, I discovered a Bingo hall and it provoked a curiosity about a subculture that I was aware of but hadn't given any thought towards. What I discovered was a community of dedicated players who travel to the same place, set up in the same spot, and bring along the same good luck charms with the hopes that this will be the day they win big. It’s a place where hope and despair come hand in hand throughout the night as the mind lets go of everything but what numbers are being called. Each location I encountered would bring in a true sense of community, each with their unique set of personalities and characters. As I continued my travels and visits to Bingo Halls across America, I realized I was looking at a cultural phenomenon that will be lost to future generations."
To see more images from my "Bingo Culture" series, click HERE
To see the images that were selected by the Worldwide Gala Awards for the 3rd Annual Julia Margaret Cameron Awards, click HERE
I am grateful to be able to share with you, all of the wonderful people I meet each time I enter a bingo hall. They have been nothing but supportive and appreciative of my efforts to document the game they love so much, because we both know it's about so much more.