April 4, 2016

Red Deer photographers / What the Shoot & Share Contest taught me / For photographers

Posted in: Creative Session, For Photographers, Wedding

What the 2016 Shoot & Share Photo Contest taught me

We’ll get to that part in a few minutes!

Entering any contest is so nerve-wracking. But this one, oh my goodness. I mean, eek, especially when the contest is judged by your peers. Amazing peers, and I mean AMAZING photographers. I spent forever trying to decide which images to enter and then countless hours voting and hoping to see any of my own photos in the contest.

Shoot & Share is an amazing community whose mission is to inspire, connect and educate photographers. They host this crazy contest every year that attracts entries from over 100 countries worldwide. This year there was over 220,000 images entered from 120 countries. It’s amazing! There are 10 rounds to the contest, with 25 different categories. The photography community votes on the images and decides the winners! It’s such a great thing to be a part of.

The Results

Shoot & Share Contest badges - Raelene Schulmeister Photography - 2016

The awards


Romantic countryside engagement Shoot & Share 2016 Contest Finalist

Melissa and Pat were too cute in this photo! Taken in the Paintearth Coulee, it was also a finalist image! It placed 450th out of 21,049 photos in the same category!


2016 Contest finalist image of linen suits and floral bridesmaid dresses

This group of people was so fun to work with! Matt and Julia’s special people made it to the finals in The Wedding Party category! 154th place out of 7,490 photos. It also placed again in the Details category below.


Floral and linen bridal party Top 10% contest finisher

This photo of Matt and Julia’s beautiful wedding party in the Details: All Dressed Up category took a TOP 10% win! 293rd out of 5,385 photos.


Photo Contest top 10% Fall bride in cardigan

This photo of Melissa at the shootout I hosted this past September place 856th out of 5,815 photos.

Cherry blossom engagement session top 30% contest finish

Ashley and Trevour’s cherry blossom engagement in downtown Calgary placed 5,762nd out of 21,049 photos in the engagement category. Another TOP 30%!


Groomsmen and groom, Vera Wang attire. Top 30% finish in the Shoot & Share Photo Contest

I took this photo while in Thunder Bay for Anthony and Bobbie Jo’s wedding in July. Also a TOP 30% finish for these good lookin’ guys! It placed 2,072 out of 7,490 images.


Romantic Red Deer engagement  finishes in the top 30% of images in the Shoot & Share Contest

This photo of Sebastian and Alyssa, taken in Red Deer while shooting my promo video, placed in the TOP 30%. That’s 6049th out of 21,029 images.

So what did the 2016 Photo Contest teach me? Let me tell you!

How to feel validated and then….move on

In Websters Dictionary, the word validated means to recognize, establish, or illustrate the worthiness or legitimacy of. There is no better feeling than having your hardwork recognized by your peer group…except knowing that my images have brought happiness to my clients. The contest has taught me that. To hear a past client speak about me and my photos, how I serve them, my joy when I’m photographing them. Having a new client come from a referral of a happy client, all these little things, they’re the things that matters. Knowing they’ll take joy in the memories we’ve created together, that’s what matters in the end.

Contest wins are great, they are, but the knowledge that I’m serving you, my client, in the best way I know how, is all the validation I need.



  1. Mahlia says:

    Wow! That photo of Melissa and Pat is gorgeous! Congratulations! !

  2. joanna says:

    Congrats!! You did awesome in the contest!

  3. Leslie Ann says:

    Great job, Congratulations!!

  4. Karen says:

    Congrats!!! Beautiful work!

  5. Love your thoughts on this! Its always so easy to get caught up on the thrill of contests, as long as we don’t forget whats most important…our clients!!

  6. Sara O'Hara says:

    Gorgeous images in the contest! CONGRATS!!! & I LOVE your thoughts about it too 🙂

  7. Misty says:

    It always feels good to be validated, but love that in the end, it’s all about our clients! 😀

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