"...a very polished image, technically very accomplished yet evocative of a time that is enhanced by the bit of mystery it contains."
Jury member Sarah Leen, Director of Photography at National Geographic
Shortly after I celebrated my 50th birthday, due in no small part to a gift I received from my husband and family that day, I decided to change my career path as a registered nurse, and follow my dream of becoming a professional photographer, which had bubbled around in my subconscious since I was a teen. I never dreamed that a mere, if whirlwind, four years later I could have,... let alone would have,... won an award like this. When I decided that I wanted to pursue photography as a vocation, there were people whom told me that it would be difficult to make a living, there would be a lot of competition, and that I was not a spring chicken. I think we all hear those voices, whether external or internal, that would seek to hinder rather than encourage us. They are voices of fear, envy, projection and regret. Instead of listening to the negativity, I chose to follow my heart and to let go of any beliefs and thought patterns that would limit me. Damn the torpedoes! I felt I had nothing to lose and only everything to gain. I have always encouraged my children to follow their dreams and to not allow fear to get in their way. I figured it was just maybe time for me to follow some of my own advice and walk the walk. So, I decided to put my heart and soul into the art and soul of creating photographs, come what may. It is incredibly fulfilling, to have followed my passion and made such a bold career change, at this time of my life. Truth be told, the timing could not have been any better. I am so honored to receive this international recognition from LensCulture. My peer group has just expanded exponentially. I am humbled. Many winners and finalists of LensCulture competitions have had their careers launched or catapulted to the next level, as a result of the enormous positive attention that the LensCulture Exposure Awards draws and focuses onto the recipients. The awards live up the name; "Exposure".
LensCulture is a photography network and online magazine about contemporary photography in art, media, politics, commerce and popular culture worldwide. Will Coldwell, in "The Independent" in 2013, described LensCulture as one of the ten best photography websites, calling it a "definitive resource for anyone who wants to keep up with the latest trends and debates in contemporary photography". Critic, Sean O'Hagan, in an article in "The Guardian" from 2012, listed it among the eight best photography websites or online publications, and hailed it as "one of the most authoritative and wide-ranging sites."
As a result of this award, my winning image "Alluring", (which is posted above), will be on exhibition at the "Photo London" expo, a major international photography event for artists, mavens, and collectors, as well as the general public. It will be held at Somerset House, in London, England, May 21st-24th of 2015. "Alluring" will also be part of LensCulture's top selected works, which image stream is projected at other photo festivals and events throughout the year, in cities like Paris, Tokyo, San Francisco, Dubai, and again in London. My image will also be published in the LensCulture Awards annual edition, which is distributed to LensCulture insiders and industry experts, a group that includes editors, curators, festival directors, publishers, gallery directors, and more. Again, I am simply humbled.
I want to acknowledge and thank my very talented sister, Michele Wade, hairstylist and makeup artist extraordinaire. Michele fashioned the incredibly spot-on hair and makeup for this photo, as she has done for so many of my best images. I could not have created this photograph, without her intuition, flair and imagination. She always brings so much breathtaking beauty and creativity to our shoots. I never cease to be stunned by her work, after we're finished with a shoot. Also, I want to thank my amazing model, Kira Aszman. The first time I saw Kira, with her vintage 1971 green BMW model 2002, I wanted to photograph her and it together. She was such a great sport and did an incredible job of following direction, while bringing her unique style and energy to the shoot. Kira is one of the young chameleons, one of my muses, with which I've been so richly blessed, whom always seem to magically morph and blend into my photographs so seamlessly, effortlessly and appropriately. She, too, shares in this award and my success.
I travel to London this May, to attend the Photo London exhibition, after which I will return to France for two weeks, where I will conduct another shoot in Provence. I also plan to spend some time in Paris, to meet with various art directors and photo editors. My life just got a lot more exciting,... again.
Dreams do come true...
"We are all quite thrilled that your work was selected as the top winner by the jury of LensCulture Exposure Awards. It’s a remarkable photo, and inspiring to all of us." Jim Casper, Editor and Publisher, LensCulture
Check out all of the winners and finalists, by clicking here.