Squamish Baby Photographer Places in the Top 10% of Shoot & Share Photography Contest - Worldwide!

 

Hello lovely Squamish people...remember that time I entered the Shoot & Share contest at the absolute last second?

As a matter of fact, I entered BEYOND the last second...I had been loosely planning to enter when it came around, but life got busy and I put it off. I didn't have any particular images in mind. But it was a moot point - I found out I had missed the deadline. I was so disappointed.

But then! As I was scrolling Instagram ("But honey, I'm NOT just wasting time on Social Media, I am building up my business! You know, EXPOSURE and BRAND AWARENESS!?") I saw that the deadline has been extended. YESSSS!

I scrambled to my desk and pulled up a chair. I was at a loss on what I should enter. I didn't have that much time to read the rules or categories or descriptions. I didn't have time to go through everything I had ever shot. I didn't have time to formulate a strategy for how to get this Squamish photographer on the map! I just aimlessly went through my archives and thought "yeah, that one!" 

In my hurried state, I compiled 50 photos (the maximum you can enter - and you even get an "All In" badge for doing so!) I painstakingly resized them to meet the requirements. As I was uploading and categorizing them all, I was SO CLOSE to running out of the extra time I had been given - I wasn't even sure if I was going by the correct time zone. I just wanted to get it done, and the whole time I knew full well that my entries may not count. Creatives are some of the worst procrastinators I know, and I am basically the Mayor of Procrastination Town.

There was also some contest controversy regarding what constitutes "family friendly." Blow-up sex dolls vs breastfeeding. DING DING DING, FIGHT!!!

Though at the last second, it was decided that areola and breastfeeding photos WERE in fact, going to be allowed into the competition. 

Luckily, I made it. All of my entries were accepted, and voting began! I spent so much time trying to decide between my favourites. The evenings I spent telling myself to get to work, but instead hours floated by as I voted for my favourite of 4 images. I was addicted, and it was so, so fun. 

I am glad I got the opportunity to participate in this contest. 

I am extremely elated to say, I had 2 photos place in the Top 10%! The thing I love most about this, both of the photos were entered in the "Birth & Newborn" category. This is significant because in the 2016 contest, Birth photos were not included in this contest. This was brand new, uncharted territory for our genre of photography. To finally be included and accepted made my heart swell with joy! However, BECAUSE we were lumped in with posed Newborns (you know, babies in baskets, frog poses, headbands) we all thought, HOW could raw & real birth images compete with sterile, clean, studio images? But compete, they did. You will just have to see for yourself! I will include the link to the results at the bottom of this post. 

This Squamish Photographer *raises hand* also had 1 photo in the Top 20%, and 4 photos in the Top 30% of each category they were entered in! 

If this is how I placed without much thought, imagine where I will go, next year (when I plan ahead). Hello, my name is Katia and I'm a procrastinator. I am already excited for next year! 

Have a look at my top entries and let me know what you think in the comments!

 

Shoot & Share - Squamish Birth, Baby & Family Portrait Photographer

 

It appears to be contest season!

If you missed it, I am competing in the Birth Becomes Her contest - more info HERE

I did mention the Shoot & Share contest in my last blog post as well. Guys, it is SO. FUN. 

When I chose to enter, it was about 12 hours AFTER the closing deadline...I am a severe last minute-er. Thankfully they extended the deadline slightly. This is my first year in the competition - said to be "the world’s only free & fair photo contest." 

Photographers can enter up to 50 images, and there are 25 separate categories. Voters are shown 4 images per category, and you choose your favourite. The page refreshes, and on, and on and on....my goodness. I have spent SO much time voting, it is addicting!

The contest is completely anonymous. There are no watermarks, no link backs, you have no idea whose images you are voting on. Even the participants don't quite know how they're doing, until the very bitter end! 

The reason I mentioned it in my last post - there was an extreme amount of backlash within birth photographer community. The Shoot & Share contest has always been touted as "family friendly," however the organizers used some very choice words to tell us what we can and cannot enter. Describing birth and breastfeeding as "grotesque." We were not okay with that! The birth community pushed back, and Shoot & Share relented! Breastfeeding images are now allowed, regardless of how much areola is visible! 

Baby steps. They still recommend against excessive blood. But Rome wasn't built in a day. 

If you have been voting, let me know if you spot one of my images! If you haven't been voting...what are you waiting for!? This is better than Instagram, folks! 

*UPDATE* I have made it to Round 9! NINE!!!!! This contest started out with 412,379 and we are left with only 67,561 photos. This means that my image(s) are floating around somewhere in the top 16.3% of the 400,000+ images that were submitted! I won't have any idea which photo(s) are still in the contest until it closes...the wait is killing me! But in the meantime, I'm still having tons of fun voting. And I must say, voting is getting much harder each round, there is so much talent here, it's unbelievable <3

 

Squamish Birth Photographer - Birth Becomes Her 2018

 

I am the most prolific blogger...not.

I quietly re-launched my photography site about a week ago. I did not make any social media posts about it, just hit publish! And here we are. I will not make any grand promises to keep up with this thing, but that is my *quiet* intention. 

For now, I want all my Squamish peeps (well, everybody, actually) to be aware of the Birth Becomes Her photo contest for 2018! I submitted 5 images, and 2 of them have moved on to the second round of judging - how exciting! I am just over the moon to be participating alongside some of my favourite artists.

The Birth Becomes her contest is first and foremost, a completely UNCENSORED contest. A grand movement to NORMALIZE BIRTH. We are sick and tired of being muzzled by social media outlets. If a photo is reported, we receive bans. Our images are removed. They threaten to shut down our pages and remove our work, and that is not okay. It is especially hurtful that scantily clad women are displayed, along with some really sick and patronizing comments, and when reported, these images stay up. I know, because I have reported hundreds of sexually suggestive images, and they are NEVER removed. It seems that women's bodies are not appreciated or worshipped (as they should be!) unless it's to please somebody sexually. This is not acceptable. The double standard is not acceptable.

Thankfully, the birth photography community has made waves recently. Facebook is listening, Shoot and Share is listening. Times are a changing, friends, and I want you to be a part of it! 

I would love it if you took a look at the art that was submitted here! Please note, this is a BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHY contest - it will be unlike anything you've ever seen before! This is real, raw, and it is breathtaking - all of it. This is real life, and real love.

If you would like to vote for my images - click through the photos. I would appreciate each and every vote. However - collecting votes is not my intention here. My intention is to spread the love and beauty of birth photography.

To view all images in the contest, click HERE

Thanks for visiting, friends <3

 

Hello There!

 

Welcome!

As you may have noticed, I have done a little bit of housekeeping. My website has a new face, and my brand has a new logo. I suppose now would be a good time to introduce myself, and get the ball rolling on this blog o' mine!

My name is Katia Grondin, and I was born & raised in Squamish, BC, Canada.

Some fun facts, shall we? I have 2 amazingly adorable nieces, as well as a nephew, but no children of my own (yet?) I love animals, you can often find me visiting the Canada Geese that hang around town. I have a large pet snake - she is a Dumeril's Boa named David Bowie (Don't ask - I did not name her!) I'm currently training to be a solo skydiver (WHEEEEEE!) I have a fairly large family, including my dear sister, who just so happens to be a birth doula, as well as a business partner. Also - I have lived in Squamish for my whole life. I was even born at Squamish General Hospital - you can't get more local than that!

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Now down to the nitty gritty...I have been taking photos from a very young age. I received my very first digital camera as a Christmas gift, but it truly started with the old disposable cameras - they used FILM! I would spend what little money I had at the grocery store - always buying cameras and having the photos developed. Most of them would make any photographer cringe, but hey, it was fun! So I kept at it.

As time went on, I was being asked to take photos for friends, families, and even some people I didn't know. It was when I got my first DSLR camera that I thought to myself "HEY, maybe I could do this!" But sadly, life has always gotten in the way, the need to have a steady income so that I can reliably pay rent has gotten in the way! I'm not saying the whole starving artist thing is true, but if I had relied solely on photography, I'd be starving, and probably homeless...But no more!

In the last 4 months, I have worked some insanely long hours in between my "real job" to make this happen. After many years dreaming, I am able to be more available for what I love; I am now the proud owner of a photography business! It has taken blood, sweat, and tears to get myself to this point (okay, maybe no blood!) but I am finally here. After a lot of frustration, boatloads of money, hours upon hours of research, bank appointments galore, millions of emails (MILLIONS!), almost giving up, being so excited I just couldnt hide it, 't almost giving up again, and back to excitement, I am finally able to put a lot more of my soul into my photography business, and soon enough, I hope to call photography my REAL JOB! This is what I love, and my heart is so full that I can finally, officially, launch this website!

So I just wanted to say hello, I am here, and THANK YOU to everybody who has helped me along the way. Every small session you have hired me for, every time I dragged you out on a photo walk, every time I borrowed your baby to play dress-up, every Facebook share, every word-of-mouth recommendation. And THANK YOU to every friend, family member, or loved one who has rolled their eyes at me because the answer to "what are you doing" is always "working" Every little bit of support and encouragement has helped tremendously. I would not be here if it weren't for YOU, my amazing clients and supporters. So as a THANK YOU, I would like to launch an exclusive special!

If you book a session between now and July 31st*, you will receive 20% off and TWO complimentary 8x10 prints**

To take advantage of this, send me an email and make sure you mention that you saw the special on my blog.

*Sessions must be completed before October 31st
**Excluding Wedding and Birth packages

NEWCOMERS - Don't be shy! Take a look through my Galleries, or for the most up-to-date content, join me on Instagram!

So, let's get together; I can't wait!

Thanks, lovelies!