Within all of us lies the desire to be more than what we are. The dreams and desires of life seem to drive us into areas of our lives that were heretofore undiscovered. We seek perfection in images that have never been created. We seek the approval of others and we seek the acceptance of our peers. And now here we sit, facing the test of our creativity. Our hearts and dreams are now placed in front of us for the entire world to see. Hard work and anticipation have led us to this point, this judging, if you will of our efforts. We seek to share with others what exists only in our minds and our cameras. We choose these images from the work that we have done and we offer for the judges our best, at this moment in time and this period of our own experience. We seek perfection and we all fall short. But still we offer this view of ourselves for these chosen few who will either encourage us to seek within ourselves, new images, or will make us afraid to show a part of us that we have revealed. Will this judging offer encouragement or will it instead lead to diminished desire to offer up these images for the world to comprehend. I sit now in nervous anticipation of the “test”. Will my life experiences, that have carried me to this point be enough? Have I garnered the knowledge to compete in a photographic world of thoughts and desires, exposed to paper, and displayed in such a fashion as to mold the careers of those who will also compete here. Will I pass the test? Will I walk away from this place, proud of what I have done, or will I leave here, having been destroyed by a careless remark or undue criticism? I do not desire a score undeserved, I do not wish to hide from the truth, but I do request that I retain my dreams and desire to create the images that I have formed inside my heart. I will watch and see, I will listen and learn, I will await my fate. The judging has begun, the test has at last come after all these months and efforts. And as my first image is turned to be judged, my heart races, I await the score, I look for the acceptance. What an awesome position it is to judge the work of others. It is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. We as judges, have the power to destroy the dreams of others or to encourage the efforts of all who have submitted these images for our review. Shall we approach this judging with the arrogance of one who is above the work of others? Shall we look at the images and judge them based on our own ability to do it better. Or shall we judge each and every image that turns before us, seeking the story and the dreams of those who have entered this competition. Not every image judged will be a great image. Not every image challenged will pass the “test”, but each and every image represents the efforts of a storyteller on a path that we may or may not have walked. Let us be cautious with our comments, being careful to offer criticism in a manner that promotes teaching and not preaching. We are here to score the works and dreams of others and not to promote ourselves or the knowledge we posses. The images will soon be before us, we must seek the stories and keep an open mind. They have done their part, now we must do ours. We are the judges, the encouragers of all who will compete in this “test”, or the destroyers of dreams and desires. We have a choice.
“All poems and stories written and copyrighted by Michael Timmons”