Sieze The Moment – FotoDC

A few weeks ago (almost a month from this posting), I had found out from a friend I hadn’t spoke to in awhile, that I had won a contest. My brain is all over the place sometimes, and I can forget something I just said a minute ago, so when I had finally realized what contest she said I won, I was in total shock! If you ever enter a contest, a part of you believes that you will win, even if it is a small part. But it’s there. I remember I had seen my friend Will (who is an amazing photographer:, tell him I sent you) had also won a FotoDC contest years ago and that inspired me. I kept it in the back of my head that I would enter this contest and at least get recognized, to have my name out there. I never imagined Grand Prize Winner. And to have it hanging in a gallery, and people looking and commenting, peers asking about it, fellow photographers all talking about our pictures and my friends there…it is definitely an experience. One that I will not forget anytime soon, despite my brain being all over the place. I am extremely humbled and grateful for this. The link below is to check out all the winners, it was tough competition. To have someone critique my work…pretty amazing.

Some words from judge Nicole Crowder of the Washington Post on your winning entry:

“While monuments and cherry blossom trees bubble up as signature landmarks of D.C’s architecture, I loved and appreciated that Derek explored a different, more unexpected part of The District and took a risk to capture a less pristine image of her. The graffiti scrawled across the rocks near a bridge juxtaposed with the dynamic tide of construction and new buildings in the background is a vignette of D.C right now–colorful, full of youth, new development, and on the heels of the recent marijuana legalization–and not a projection of what someone thinks it is. The composition of this image is also really refreshing because it seizes a moment of color, energy, attitude and symmetry at one time. That puff of smoke lets me know that Derek was also patient, and waiting to snap this at just the right moment.”

I always liked photography and if you ask anyone that knows me about how I feel about it, I just do it because it gives me a peace of mind, I enjoy it, capturing a moment no matter what it is, lifestyle, street, automotive…it’s something I made. This milestone just reaffirms me that i’m on the right path…

Thanks for all your support!

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