1st Place Winner – Milestones – “Porcelain Doll” by Marcela Limon

2nd Place Winner – Child – “Pure Innocence” by Marcela Limon

The Story Behind the Winning Image

Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes in some of these amazing images, particularly those that are competition winners?

Marcela Limon is a Certified Maternity and Newborn photographer servicing the San Francisco Bay Area from her beautiful studio in Alameda. She’s been specializing in motherhood images since 2015 and has won prestigious awards at international print competitions in the last few years, including APNPI, WPPI and PPA, where she recently earned her Master of Photography degree. She’s committed to newborn safety and that’s why she is Infant CPR trained and has had in person mentoring with renowned photographers from around the world. She’s always looking for education opportunities to make the industry better for both her colleagues and her clients.

To see more of Marcela’s work: https://lemonshoots.com/

The Inside Scoop…

Q: Why did you decide to submit to the APNPI International Image Competition?

A: I deeply believe that submitting for competition makes your everyday work better, especially when you can get some feedback from the judges. The fact that APNPI records its judging and makes it available to the makers is a huge learning opportunity!

Q: What, if anything, did you learn about yourself through the process of image competition judging?

A:  You learn about what you did right, so you can repeat it, and what you could’ve done better, so you look for those mistakes next time, and correct them before taking the photograph. It’s a never ending process of working, perfecting, submitting, learning, tweaking… and then it starts again. But it is so much fun!

Q: What attracted you to APNPI’s International Image Competition? 

A: The feedback was definitely a big one for me. Competitions that don’t provide feedback are fun for the accolades, but they won’t teach you much. Feedback and hearing the judges discuss an image is what makes it worth it for me.

Q: Have there been any positive outcomes from your achievement?

A: Oh yes! Clients get so excited when they learn that their baby’s portrait did well at an image competition! They share that with their families and friends and that creates buzz around your brand. And personally, it has given me the confidence to charge properly for my work. I value it more -and my clients do too- by knowing I can create an award-worthy image from everyday sessions.

Q: What were you looking for when selecting images to submit to the image competition?

A:  You look at all the elements that make an image outstanding: impact, story, subject matter, composition, color harmony, technical excellence… it all has to be there! When going through images, the one that makes you stop to look at it more, that’s the one that has potential.

Q: What would you say to a member thinking about submitting imagery?

A:  I get it. It is scary. But if you never submit you’ll never know where you are in the process. Not knowing what you can improve won’t help you at all. Submit with the hopes of winning, yes, but most importantly, with the certainty that you will learn and become a better artist after you do. You need to enter with a humble heart and open ears. Don’t take feedback personally. Feedback is a gift and it is your choice if you want to use it to make you grow or not.

APNPI Competition 1st Place Winner – Milestones “Porcelain Doll”

APNPI Competition 2nd Place Winner – Child (ages 1 year and up) “Pure Innocence”

To learn more: APNPI Image Competition

Did you know…

All members receive one free entry – so go ahead try it out, you have nothing to lose!

Each image is up for an award, whether it’s in the top 3 or not.  Every submission competes against itself to earn a Merit Award (score of 80 and above).

Merit Awards are prestigious accomplishments!  They denote a level that stands out above the Accreditation level.

Competing is an excellent way for members to sharpen their skills and elevate their work.

Members learn a ton from entering their images and receiving feedback from the judges.

For more info and to enter, visit: www.apnpi.com/image-competition