What does an award mean?
Two days ago, when I checked my phone after waking up (really not the best habit), my Instagram showed I had quite a new likes and followers. I was also tagged in a post, so I was curious to see what had happened overnight. When I clicked the tag, I saw a portrait of Hannah on Documentary Family Awards' feed, and it said "5th Place in Environmental Portrait".
I had taken the portrait of Hannah on Mount Zao in Japan on our last trip there. It was a foggy day and when we exited the cable car, we were greeted with thick fog. We could hardly see beyond 10 meters. It was a mystical feeling. When we reached a clearing of white dandelions, the fog opened up and we could see part of the plains. Hannah ran ahead of us and I fumbled to get my medium format film camera out of my bag, sensing a photo opportunity. I took a few snaps and this was the one that I liked the most. I especially love this portrait because Hannah's face is hidden. Only the three of us who were there that moment know for sure who this little girl in the photo is.
So what does an award mean? Can I now say I'm an award winning photographer? Is it really something to shout about? It is after all only fifth place.
But, it is FIFTH place out of so many photos. It is a FIFTH place recognition of my work by the family documentary community. That is an affirmation that the work I'm passionately pursuing is heading in the right direction. Now all I've got to do is to keep on keeping on.
By the way, there are lots of inspiring work at Documentary Family Awards' website. Do take a look.