Print Competitions! Howard County Photographer

21 07 2011

Last year I decided to ‘man-up’ and start entering my images in our State competitions.  Nerve racking doesn’t begin to explain how I feel prior to and during the competitions.  For the past couple of years, I’ve sat through many of them as a spectator and it’s amazing what you learn when you hear the Master judge’s critiques and suggestions.  I knew it was time to bite the bullet and go for it.  As much as I learned from being a spectator, I knew I would gain even more knowledge by entering my own images.

So last year, I entered my first image.  My goal was to be awarded a score of 80…..I won’t go into the whole scoring process now, but that was my goal.  I thought I would have to compete several times before reaching that goal, so you can imagine how thrilled I was  when the score was called and it was an 80!   No way! 😀 I went home that night with a blue ribbon!!

And later, in our Annual Competition, I entered this image and received the Kelly Pierce Memorial Award, for Best Portrait of a Child!  I was beyond excited!

Here’s my first entry, titled “Chicks Dig Me”.

This image is so special to me. Joseph, my adorable subject, is the son of 2 of my favorite people in the universe. Thank you, Sue and Cliff!

Last month, I competed again, still sooooo nerve racking. There were over 90 images submitted!  I found myself feeling like I was in second grade, sitting on my hands with my fingers crossed, avoiding eye contact with the teacher, hoping she doesn’t call on me!! Who does that??
Here is “Golden Statue”. I was thrilled to receive another 80 with beautiful Nahal as my model!  Thank you, Nahal!

I also entered “Little Big Man” last month and it scored an 80 as well!!  How cute is he?! Thank you, Danielle!

Now, I’ll back up a few months, I entered more images in another State Print Competition.   I was so excited about the scores and I came home with more awards!  BUT, I’ve got to take a moment to say, that I apologize for not posting these sooner. I really want to celebrate my clients, but it’s difficult for me because I feel like I’m praising myself when I put these up and talk about awards.    While I do want my clients and potential clients to know that I work hard to deliver beautiful, emotional and fun images and I’m continually working to improve, it’s still uncomfortable for me to say “look what I did!”  So for the family members and subjects of these next several images, I’m sorry that I didn’t announce these sooner.

Here are the winning images from a few months ago:

This sweet baby, I’ve had the pleasure of watching her grow because she’s on my baby’s first year plan.  The baby to one of my wedding couples, this is “Peaceful on Grandma’s Blanket”. Thank you, KC and John.


I love this family portrait.  Pete and Mary, two of my oldest (not in age but in # of years that I’ve known them!! 😉 ) friends and it was an amazingly fun time hanging out with them and their handsome boys!

Titled, “A Brilliant Family Perspective”. Thank you, Pete and Mary.


Sweet, sweet Bella had so much fun at her one year old portrait session and I had a blast with her.  Thank you, Donna and Jeff.

“Ummmm, privacy please!”


This beautiful little baby girl was the perfect, happy subject, simply titled, “Christmas Baby”  Thank you, Shawn and Brian!


I will be the first to admit that it is extremely rewarding to be recognized for your work and to win awards.  But, it is even more rewarding to have wonderful clients that trust me to create beautiful and emotionally moving images for them to admire for generations.  I’m blessed to be able to document incredible milestones in a person’s life and I never take that for granted.  I always work to continually improve my craft.

Thank you! xo

For anybody who is interested in the Print Competitions and what the judges look for when they score:
(copied from the Professional Photographers of America website,

The use of these 12 elements connects the modern practice of photography and its photographers to the historical practice of photography begun nearly two centuries ago.

Twelve elements have been defined as necessary for the success of an art piece or image. Any image, art piece, or photograph will reveal some measure of all twelve elements, while a visually superior example will reveal obvious consideration of each one

The Twelve elements listed below are in accordance to their importance.

Impact is the sense one gets upon viewing an image for the first time. Compelling images evoke laughter, sadness, anger, pride, wonder or another intense emotion. There can be impact in any of these twelve elements.

Technical excellence is the print quality of the image itself as it is presented for viewing. Retouching, manipulation, sharpness, exposure, printing, mounting, and correct color are some items that speak to the qualities of the physical print.

Creativity is the original, fresh, and external expression of the imagination of the maker by using the medium to convey an idea, message or thought.

Style is defined in a number of ways as it applies to a creative image. It might be defined by a specific genre or simply be recognizable as the characteristics of how a specific artist applies light to a subject. It can impact an image in a positive manner when the subject matter and the style are appropriate for each other, or it can have a negative effect when they are at odds.

Composition is important to the design of an image, bringing all of the visual elements together in concert to express the purpose of the image. Proper composition holds the viewer in the image and prompts the viewer to look where the creator intends. Effective composition can be pleasing or disturbing, depending on the intent of the image maker.

Presentation affects an image by giving it a finished look. The mats and borders used, either physical or digital, should support and enhance the image, not distract from it.

Color Balance supplies harmony to an image. An image in which the tones work together, effectively supporting the image, can enhance its emotional appeal. Color balance is not always harmonious and can be used to evoke diverse feelings for effect.

Center of Interest is the point or points on the image where the maker wants the viewer to stop as they view the image. There can be primary and secondary centers of interest. Occasionally there will be no specific center of interest, when the entire scene collectively serves as the center of interest.

Lighting—the use and control of light—refers to how dimension, shape and roundness are defined in an image. Whether the light applied to an image is manmade or natural, proper use of it should enhance an image.

Subject Matter should always be appropriate to the story being told in an image.

Technique is the approach used to create the image. Printing, lighting, posing, capture, presentation media, and more are part of the technique applied to an image.

Story Telling refers to the image’s ability to evoke imagination. One beautiful thing about art is that each viewer might collect his own message or read her own story in an image.

I have only 9 slots open! Call now for this fantastic opportunity!

25 02 2010

Awesome announcement!!!
I’m thrilled to announce that Pam Long Photography is, once again, participating in the International Charity Model Search to raise funds for the non-profit Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep Foundation. ( Last year we searched for America’s Cutest Child. I was thrilled that all of the children that we photographed placed in the top 10 in Maryland! This year we will raise money while voting for America’s Cutest Family!! Call our office at 410.719.0405, we have only 9 slots left.

Are you like me??
Each morning I wake up wondering where the time has gone. My children are only 5 and 6 but it seems like only yesterday when I was holding them in my arms wondering if I was swaddling them just right, wiping dribble from their chins, feeding them at all hours of the night, teaching them to potty in the toilet, to tie their shoes, to use their manners (okay, so that is a continual job!). Now they are doing their own homework, coming up with creative, new games, and making friends without needing mommy or daddy’s encouragement! I just finished photographing another High School senior and I heard what I always hear, “They grow up soooo fast!”, “We haven’t had professional portraits since they were little; I wish we had taken more!”.

“Our experience with Pam Long was very comforting. She has a way of making everyone feel at ease and happy. We even had our little puppy and dog in the shots! Her positive attitude and cheerful enthusiasm for her art shows through her photos. Pam also really listened to us in what we wanted. She offered helpful tips to make our vision even better.” The Hansen family

Don’t wait until you look ‘just right’!
If you’re anything like me, you say to yourself, “I’m going to wait until I lose a few more pounds….until my hair grows out….until I get my hair cut….when I find the time”. Don’t wait, your children don’t care what you look like. They care that they have tangible memories. When they are older and showing their children the family portraits of when they were little, they will be filled with wonderful memories of those times in their lives when they were growing up!

An excuse to get together with your siblings!
Are you an adult juggling your daily demands of life and aren’t able to see your parents and/or siblings as much as you’d like? You don’t need to be ‘married with children’ to participate in America’s Cutest Family! Use this promotion as an extra reason to get together with your family!  Make an afternoon or evening of it and have lunch or drinks after having fun taking portraits (yes, it’s FUN!!).

“Our experience having our large (26 members) family having a photo session just two days prior to Christmas was, to say the least – one of the best days ever – and we often talk about what a warm and happy memory this has become in our family. Our picture is perfect – we were having such a good time that it shows in the picutre. Every time I look at the picture on the wall, I smile remembering that day! Thank you Pam!” Mrs. DeLalla

This is the time to take advantage of my special offer NOW!
Many exciting prizes will be awarded, and the grand prize winner receives a new car!

Model Search Special:
$65.00 entrance fee includes a 30-minute session and one image submitted to the national gallery.
Finalists will be determined by online votes. Each vote is $1 (no limit on the amount of votes you can cast), and all proceeds from votes benefit Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (

Grand prize international winner will be determined from the 52 city finalists. The winners will be selected from the finalist gallery by photography and modeling industry experts. The winning family also receives a session with the renowned portrait artist Sandy Puc’ and international recognition.
*Contest open to residents of the US and Canada. For more information, visit

YOU win because you get a wonderful family portrait at more than 1/2 off the session fee and special collection pricing.
Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep WINS because we’ll be raising money for them through our votes.
PLP wins because I get to hang out with and photograph you!
I’m looking forward to the next few weeks. Let’s have fun while making new memories for your family!
Call 410.719.0405 now to enter your family in this exciting contest. I have only 9 more slots open.  Appointments will be taken on a first call, first serve basis.


Kudos korner…

15 02 2008

When I received the call from Andrea, the director at my girl’s Child Care Center, telling me that Hayley’s chin might need medical attention, I thought to myself…self….I’m sure they are just being safe, she’s okay.   Well, she was okay.  She was quietly and bravely holding a towel and ice to her chin.  Her spirit was okay, under her chin….not so much.  

I instantly felt like an ignorant mother, not knowing where to take her to get checked out….take her to her doctor or to the ER?  So of course I called her doctor’s office.  The office staff and medical team at Dr. Parnes and May have been awesome since our first visit,  days after Hayley was born.  They have heard the full capacity of the inner lungs of both of my girls…octaves higher than ever imaginable.  The minute one of my sweeties hears the crinkle of the paper that lays over the exam bed….watch out, it’s all over.

Today was different.  When Hayley fell, she didn’t cry.  When she waited in the office with Andrea and Laura (thanks ladies for your help), she didn’t cry.  The drive to the doctor’s office, she didn’t cry.  During her exam with Dr. May, nope, no tears.

I thought the tears would start when Dr. May used the “s” word…stitches.   Yikes! But no tears!! 

When we got to Howard County General Hospital, they were quick and efficient.  Within minutes, we were in the pediatric emergency care.  Everyone was AWESOME.  A super special thank you to Renee and Dr. Aggarwal.  Our experience could not have been better under the circumstances.  Renee was fantastic with Hayley…she helped us pick out a movie, got us a snack, explained so nicely to Hayley what would happen and how it would happen, she even brought Hayley a cute little stuffed animal.  She also, while holding Hayley’s head in place, told Hayley what was going on with the Peter Pan movie while Hayley was in a position where she couldn’t watch for herself. 

Dr. Aggarwal was terrific and precise with his stitching….and had a GREAT bedside manner.  I asked him since he had the needle and thread out,  if he could do an eye and/or brow lift on me but he only works on patients under 18!!  😉   Heck, when I was under 18, I didn’t need the work!  😀 Thanks Dr. for taking such care with our Hayley, Johnny and I appreciate you.

Honestly, I never want to have one of my daughter’s hurt EVER again, but if we should need to bring them to a hospital again, Howard County General Hospital is tops on my list.

Here’s Hayley with Renee before being discharged…

Johnny and Hayley grabbed a ride on the carousel…
(The pictures are from my iPhone,  not the best quality, but still okay.) 

We then headed to Chick-fil-A for a very special treat, a yummy Cookies and Cream milkshake…and of course, no tears there either.

Thank you to Dr. May at Parnes and May and to Renee and Dr. Aggarwal at Howard County General Hospital.