I started to dabble last year in entering local photo contests and printing more of my images. I entered two contests last year, was fortunate to be accepted into both, and received an honorable mention in one of them. I have an interest in entering more contests going forward and am working to develop a better looking portfolio that only shows my best work. I'll put the portfolio web site on the label I place on the back of the images.

I've primarily just uploaded photos to Flickr in previous years and shared some of them here and with family. I hadn't printed much in previous years beyond images for the local town's camera club contests. I've enjoyed the results of printing and think I lost some time by not printing sooner.

As I've worked to identify portfolio grade pictures my eyes have been opened in several areas:

1. While I don't claim to be anything more than an amateur hobbyist photographer, I was surprised to see just how rough most of my early work was. Probably 75% of my Flickr photos, the ones intended to share, from 2013 and prior wouldn't make the cut now.

2. As I've put more effort into other things the volume of my output has gone down quite a bit.

3. This probably sounds dumb, but it shows what I actually most like taking photos of! I haven't done many subject isolation type photos lately. A few years ago this was one of my favorite categories. Faster lenses I used for this purpose have disproportionately high % of portfolio images, but I've sold most of the lenses. That might have been a bad idea :-(

4. I remember the story behind most of the photos. Where were they taken? Who was with me? What did we do that day? It's gratifying to spend time with people you care about doing things you enjoy. I'm lucky that my wife enjoys photography too and it is something we can share.

I'd highly encourage anyone to go through their work, identify the images you really like, and have them readily available.