I’ve procrastinated about this, debating whether to write about it or not, but perhaps my ego has won out. The Visual Culture Awards recently released the winners of numerous categories. No, I didn’t win a category or even place in the top 3, but I did receive an Award of Excellence in the category containing commercial images. And I was elated, and much more surprised than anything. The quality, the emotive nature of most of the awarded images are amazing. Breathtaking. Provocative. Pungent. The majority of photography entered and awarded has primary roots in photojournalism, and I am in awe, with a hint of jealous, of the caliber of those photographs. I aspire to reach the level of photography and skill of those awarded. Which is why I’m quite surprised at even receiving an award of excellence, granted, it isn’t in a photojournalist category, but I hope in the near future that will all change.
I’m not sure people understand my need to pursue photojournalism. Why not be the happy wedding and portrait photographer? Why not make bank on photographing feux food and interior designs? I’m unsure how to explain my need to discover, to engage, to interact with a stranger, and to somehow convince a stranger to reveal his or her personal self. It is simultaneously challenging and rewarding, and often even I am surprised by the images these hands and eyes capture. How quick I forget a moment in photographing fervor.
The portfolio winner has a series of photographs on display at the Charleston Center for Photography on King St. And I implore you to go! They are grand. Raw. Splendid to be privy to view. Images of Nepal, Bangladesh, of the stories of people I will never meet but am greatly effected by their sacred narratives through image.
But on a slightly funny note. At the opening, it was mentioned that one Charleston photographer was acknowledged in the tVCA and then a motion pointing to my direction in the far back was made. Except, I was standing on the opposite side in the back of the room; so, I laughed when I saw all these heads turn to a corner that I wasn’t in. And the people in the corner now being stared at just sort of looked around, at each other, then confused…which of them was Priscilla? And I surely wasn’t going to raise a hand to bring attention to myself, but I laughed so hard, and that’s difficult to do in quiet fashion. But truly, go visit the website and let your eyes feel, take in all the images of some of the world’s best photographers.