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I hate the whole “award winning photography” stuff. Unless you were recognized as a whole, it’s easy to get lucky and pop off one brilliant shot out of ten thousand exposures! I think being featured in magazines is a little more prestigious usually, if I can pick up a copy of The Knot in a local store and see a beautifully shot wedding and then go to their page and see consistency, I know that person is a contender for my business.
That same photographer featured in magazines month after month may not win the local “best of” constest here though, simply because of the “Chinese Water Army” of insincere likes and spammed votes. It really aggravates me sometimes.
For instance, there’s a photographer here locally that gets rave reviews. I mean, she does indeed have a firm grasp on photography but her work lacks both consistency and originality. She over edits like a mad woman and overuses warm toning to the point where almost all her subjects look either spray-tanned or just yellow… Yet she beats out tons of quality, creative photogs every year because of the “like/vote” spamming on every local page.