“Hello, my name is Pam, and I am a photoaholic, all because of I Heart Faces.” Yep, I can see myself standing in front of a room full of ladies, like Andrea, Becky ,Becca, Suki, Rachel, Pam, Dana, Jana, Jessica, Elaine, and a host of others with whom I share my favorite spot on the web. All of us hopelessly addicted to digital SLRs and photo editing programs (can I get a holla for FINALLY getting Photoshop Elements up and running? boooyah!) after hanging out week after week at the best photo site around. And today, one of my fantasies is actually coming true; Amy and Angie have asked me to be one of the guest fan judges for this week’s “Hilarious Outtakes!” photo challenge! When I was named as “Fan of the Week” last year, I thought that I had reached the pinnacle of success at IHF. But to be asked to actuallly judge photos? Makes me smile and itch (as I break out in hives) at the same time. Which is NOT a real pretty mental image; sorry. Anyway, the lovely ladies at IHF have asked me to fill out the following Guest Fan Judge Questionnaire,so here goes:
My name: Pam Doughty, or Pam D
Links to my websites: Well, you’re here at my photoblog, but I also have a site at blogger that was my original blog, Life by the Creek. I post over here mainly for IHF contests and to showcase my favorite photos. I also have a Facebook page and love to connect with friends over there.
Description of myself: If I hadn’t had to take a self-portrait for this post, I might have been somewhat kind. But after 2 or 24 long-arm shots and the realization that my arm would NEVER stretch long enough to get away from the horrifying wrinkles, I resorted to the wrinkle remover and make thinner tools in Picnik and just let it go. It’s really funny how a camera can capture what you simply refuse to see in a mirror. But, I love my husband, son and dog, my church and my son’s awesome school, Cub Scouts, and photography, and those things keep me young in SPITE of what my skin may say.
Photography journey: I took photography classes in high school (in, umm.. the 70’s, y’all) using a Minolta SLR. I actually enrolled in college as a photography major, but I ended up graduating with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. I put photography away for a decade, but then my wonderful hubby got me a Nikon SLR in 1990 and I got back into taking pictures. In 2004, I finally went digital with a Fugi FinePix that served me well. UNTIL I found I Heart Faces a year ago and began to crave something better and with interchangeable lenses. I have moved ahead in my photography more in the past year than in the 49 before it, and it’s all because of the guidance and challenge that I find at IHF.
Favorite online photographer: Y’all, I almost didn’t put this one in here, because there are SO many wonderful photographers that I’ve met through this site. Some are pros, some aren’t, but all are great. And yet, there is one that I discovered on my first visit to IHF who has influenced me in so many ways; as I’ve watched her grow into a totally amazing photographer, I’ve dared to dream that I can one day find within myself the beauty that I see in her. If you haven’t visited Dana at From Chaos to Grace, please stop by her blog and take a look at her beautiful creations. And read her writing, too; she runs deep, and I love her muchly.
Camera Equipment and Editing Programs: I currently use a Canon Rebel XSi. I have the kit lens and a pretty crummy zoom that came with the camera in a package deal; neither one is great. For my birthday last year, I got the Canon 50mm 1.4 lens and it rarely comes off my camera now. But I am in serious need of a good sports lens, so that’s my “this year birthday wish” (hi, honey… I know you’ll read this since I told you that I get to be a guest judge… so “hint hint”!). Up until the past week or so, I’ve used a multitude of editing programs, mainly depending on Picasa, Picnik, and Microsoft Digital Image Suite. I just got a new computer and Photoshop Elements and am having a blast!
Now, since I’m judging, I don’t get to compete this week. Which is kind of ironic, because I didn’t compete in the last “Hilarious Outtakes” contest because I missed the deadline by about an hour. But, I do get to put some outtakes in this post, and I’m going to use some of the ones that I had planned to use last time. Mainly because I’m lazy I really want y’all to see the pictures this time around. And there are a couple of different ones, too:
And, finally, I might feel just a twinge of envy for those folks with the lovely little girls who LOVE to dress up and pose. Cause for me, this is as good as it gets:
To wrap it all up, if you haven’t figured it out by now, I heart I Heart Faces. I heart Amy and Angie (and Andrea, too!); I heart the friends I’ve met through the site. I guess the weekly challenge is what keeps me coming back, because it forces me to really stretch myself and learn new things. But I Heart Faces is so much more than a competition; it’s a community that will always hold a special place in MY heart.