Shoot and Share Photo Contest 2018.....Results are in!!!

I posted on Adrienne Cowen Photography Facebook page  in January that I entered the Shoot and Share Photo Contest. The contest ended the beginning of March. Results were finally posted the end of last week! EEEKKK!!! For my first year entering I am stoked about my results. I am excited to share them with you!

What is the Shoot and Share Contest?

The Shoot and Share Photo Contest is a contest for photographers. It is the only fair contest where photos are voted on based on their merits rather than who took the photo. Anyone could vote in the contest but no one knew who the photographer of the photograph was during the contest. The contest is made up of 25 categories and photographers are able to submit 50 images, either all in one category or spread over various categories. During voting, 4 images are displayed for a category. The voter must choose the image that they like out of the four. There are 12 rounds and after each round the photos with least votes were removed from the contest and the rest moved on. Results are Top 10%, Top 20%, Top 30%, 1ST-20TH PLACE, Top 100 of all categories (Best of the Best), Finalists and the Grand Prize winner of the contest. (The image below shows how the contest awards work this year.)

Credit: Shoot and Share

Credit: Shoot and Share

This year there was over 412,000 photos submitted and 81 million votes throughout 160 countries.

I know you are all asking “So what are your results?”

Here it goes…..

2018 Shoot and Share Photo Contest Results:

Top 30% of all categories

Travel/Landscape - Placed 3,345 out of 16,373 photos in this category

South Lake Tahoe, California sunset

South Lake Tahoe, California sunset

Teens & Seniors - Placed 7,705 out of 29,460 photos in this category

Dancer - Downtown Honolulu, Hawaii

Dancer - Downtown Honolulu, Hawaii


Top 20%of all categories

Travel/Landscape – Placed 2,198 out of 16,373 photos in this category

Nimitz Beach in Kapolei, Hawaii

Nimitz Beach in Kapolei, Hawaii


Top 10% of all categories

Teens & Seniors –Placed 2,235 out of 29,460 photos in this category

Dancer - Downtown Honolulu, Hawaii

Dancer - Downtown Honolulu, Hawaii

Teens & Seniors - Placed 2,551 out of 29,460 photos in this category

Dancer - Nimitz Beach

Dancer - Nimitz Beach

I also received the badge of courage for my first time submitting and the all in club badge for submitting 50 images into the contest. I am so excited that my first year entering the contest I did so well. Thank you to those who went to vote in the contest. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to my amazing clients! Without you I would not have had so many amazing photos to submit! I am excited for the 2019 Shoot and Share Photo Contest! I have already started capturing so many amazing images!


R Family Session

I don’t get to photograph families with small children very often. I love doing military photo sessions and add in children and it is golden! This family reached out to me and wanted to schedule a family session with them in their uniform and daughter. I was so excited! At our pre session consultation mom and I couldn’t stop bouncing ideas off of each other for the shoot. She had sent me some inspiration photos of what she would like to get but left it up to me to capture what I thought. With children you can NEVER mimic a photo you see off Pinterest. Most of those photos are either heavily edited in Photoshop or it was a lucky catch. I told mom that we would try to get something similar however I would never copy another photographer’s work nor would it be the exact same.

At the session I wanted to make sure mom’s vision was being played out. Miss V was so smiley at the consult and she brought those smiles and giggles to the session too. I could have snuggled her all day! She is such a cute baby! Those cute cheeks won my heart! If I could pick a personality to be in every child for photo sessions it would be hers!

We started photographing and everything fell into place. The weather was beautiful! The sunset was pretty once it started setting. I was so happy the family chose that location to shoot at. I have only shot there once before and was itching to shoot again. Beach and mountains in the same location in Hawaii for your photo session, you can’t go wrong with that.

Dad was such a trooper during the shoot. He let mom and I run with our thoughts and was up for anything that I suggested. Want to know the best part of this session? Mom, dad and baby girl all had perfect smiles, you knew that they loved each other and they were all happy to be there taking pictures with each other as a family. I can’t say how much fun it was working with them. I honestly think it was Miss V’s adorable smiles that made me even more excited than I already was!

Thank you both for your service! You have a beautiful daughter and I cannot wait to work with your family again!

Here are a few of my favorites from the session! *Names has been removed for safety.*


H Family Session

Last weekend I got to photograph a beautiful family. I attend church with one of their daughters and she set up a family shoot for them for a Mother’s day gift. While we were shooting Mrs. H said that her granddaughter had given her a picture frame and said that it was for them to put pictures in. While talking with the family they said they haven’t had family photos since their youngest was 2! You couldn’t tell it though. They all posed so naturally! They told me family photos were always stressful for them and that is why they rarely did them. As a photographer that breaks my heart because a photo session should not be stressful. It should be a fun time to cut loose and be you. I like to make my sessions fun and stress free. If I leave the session with my abs hurting from laughing so much it was indeed a GREAT session.

 It’s always nice to be able to photograph a couple that has so much love for each other. When you have a family that shows the amount of love for each other by just looking at them it is even more incredible. Mr. and Mrs. H have been married for almost 29 years and have 4 beautiful children. The look in their eyes and on their faces when looking at each other showed so much love! I am sure they are more in love than they were on their wedding day! I am so happy that I was able to capture some family photos for them while they were visiting family and friends in Hawaii.

In Hawaii you never know when it is going to rain. We had to reschedule the session because of rain several days earlier. I was so happy when I got to the location and it was bright and sunny! The sunset was beautiful! I couldn’t have asked God to give us a better one! We did have to fight with the king’s tide being in and running from the water! I went home with water up to mid-calf and sand in my pant legs. It was an absolute great time!  I was so lucky to be able to capture this beautiful couple and their youngest daughter.

I had a hard time picking out my favorite photos from the session. They were all so amazing. Here are a few of the ones the family received.

Shooting the Milky Way

Almost everyone has a bucket list. Mine has changed over the years to fit where I am in my life. It seems as though my bucket list gets smaller and smaller the older I get. It especially took a hit once I became a mom. I always wanted to visit Hawaii, but now I get to live here. As I have said in a previous post I have met many wonderful photographers in my short time of being in Hawaii.

Wednesday (May 24) I went out with a few photographers to shoot the Milky Way but it was too cloudy to see the stars by the time I got there. We did end up doing some cool light photography! The night may not have resulted in beautiful shots of the Milky Way but there was lots of laughs shared and memories made.

Photo from the first night we went to shoot the Milky Way.

Photo from the first night we went to shoot the Milky Way.

Playing with light photography after the clouds covered the stars.

Playing with light photography after the clouds covered the stars.

Friday evening (May 26) I headed out to shoot the Milky Way with Erica and two other photographers at Ka’ena Point State Park. Most of you know I have an eighteen month old little boy. I don’t get to go out very often by myself and especially to do something fun! I left the house probably a little too early before meeting the girls to head to the location. A little time in Target and sipping some wonderful coffee from Starbucks left me pumped for our midnight shooting of the Milky Way. I got my new camera that morning so I was super pumped to shoot with it! I was ready to see what I would get after upgrading to a Canon 6D! When we got to the location we were going to photograph my excitement was way over super excited on the excitement scale! The time flew by! It was 2AM before we knew it and was time for us to head back home.

I finally made it home around 3AM. Everyone in my house was asleep! The house was quiet. The first time in months I felt refreshed. I felt like me. I for once didn’t feel like a mom or a wife. I was Adrienne. I didn’t realize that shooting the Milky Way was on my bucket list, but it made its way on there super fast. (I told my husband that I want to go shoot the Northern Lights! One day I will! One day!) These shots are nowhere near perfect. I still have lots of growing to do in night and star photography, but I absolutely love having me time to unwind and have fun! I can't wait to go back out and shoot the stars!

Below are some photos I took of the Milky Way. The third picture is of a fellow photographer.

Introducing Family of Four

I am a firm believer of community over competition, especially in the photography world. There is so much knowledge out there for everyone to learn and so many people in this world to photograph! Everyone has their own unique style and no two photographers are the exact same. Moving to Hawaii I knew no other photographers. No community or network of fellow business owners. Thankfully I was quickly able to make connections with a wonderful group of women (and men) who are not only military spouses but they are also photographers. This group has opened doors for me to learn and grow in my work, network with other business owners, and meet some incredible friends (Shout out to Erica and Melissa!) I have been able to grow my photography skills the last few months more than I ever thought I could. I have been pushed to reach out of my comfort zone.

The three of us have been planning a session with Melissa and her family by the planes for weeks. Last weekend was finally the time that we were able to get together and shoot. Erica and I have shot together in the past and work well together. This made the shoot fun which in return resulted in double the photos for the session. (Always a win for the client!) When you get a family together for a shoot it is always fun to see how well the children will react. What will they do? What pose will you get or miss? How will you pose a family that has smaller children? Let’s just say Miss “C” kept us on our toes that night and I loved every moment of it. Working with Melissa and her family was great. I enjoy working with other photographers because you both speak the photographer language. They usually pose themselves and you are able to get poses you wouldn’t have thought of.

I am going to be completely raw and honest right now, I was terrified of this session. Not because of the family but because I didn’t want to mess up this session and the photos. Melissa and her family haven’t had family photos since “C” was a few months old and that was way over a year and a half ago. Melissa and her husband haven’t had professional photos of just the two of them since their wedding 5 years ago. I walked into this session with a lot of weight on my shoulders to get this right. I had to give them the perfect photos of not just them as a couple but their now family of four. I wanted to nail this session especially having another photographer as a client. Getting the message from Melissa after I delivered her gallery left me smiling from ear to ear because I knew I had given her everything she could have wanted in the session.

This family is absolutely perfect, even the un-posed and lifestyle shoots. I enjoy telling a story with my photography and I believe that I did with this session. These are just a few of my favorite from their session!


Welcome Home USS Port Royal!

I was so excited when I got the email about booking the homecoming for this sweet couple. I had met Ashley several months ago at a coffee social. When she talked about her husband she had a big smile on her face and she just lit up! You could tell by they way she spoke about him and their relationship they were perfect for each other. At the coffee social I told her and a few other spouses I would love to work with them for their homecomings.

Fast forward a  few months. I receive a message in my business page inbox. It was Ashley asking me if I was available to shoot her homecoming session. I was so happy that she remembered me and asked me! I immediately told her YES! I don't think she knew how happy I was. I LOVE homecomings. I love everything about them! Its that first look, that first hug, that first kiss you share with your spouse. You get to relive a lot of firsts being a military spouse. I like to think its a perk for all the times you have to say see you later to your spouse or the amount of times you have to move in your spouse's career.

Homecoming day finally came! I showed up to the base excited for this sweet couple! I had my camera ready to photograph and a pack of tissues. I wasn't sure who would need them first, her or me!

"They are at XXX location!" That was the remark I heard before she showed me the picture a friend had sent her. The ship was getting closer!

Her husband was almost home. She was about to have her best friend home! If that doesn't make you teary eye I don't know what will! We had been waiting for 30 minutes and I knew she was getting anxious! I mean who wouldn't be? You haven't seen your spouse in over 7 months. Communication can get tricky. It's not something you look forward too.

The boat made its way into the pier. Ashley was anxiously searching for her husband. Finally, she spotted him! Her face lit up! The smile grew bigger. At that moment her husband was finally HOME!

Her husband was on the crew that helped dock the ship. Ashley took a friend's camera and zoomed in so she could see her man! She had to take over 100 photos of him!

There was so much excitement on the pier! Everyone was so happy to see their loved one! That moment everything stood still! The deployment was finally over. They no longer had to communicate through email. They now get to see each other face to face!

It was finally time for her husband to walk off the ship! The moment they have both waited for since he left. Her excitement was the highlight of my morning! They were finally back together! That moment it was like their love story just picked up where it was left off! How amazing! No one around them mattered. It was just them! Check out a few more of their day below!

Welcome home Tommy! Thank you for your service!