When I got the news on Monday that I had been named the 2018 Travel Photographer of the Year by the prestigious Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), I was at an anchor client site in Stockholm, Sweden.
Several emotions coursed through me – from the initial shock and excitement to deep gratitude and a profound sense of accomplishment on many levels. After receiving warm congratulatory hugs all around, I got right back to work.
Because that is what I do. I always put in the work. This did not happen overnight.
Those who know me know I am quite tenacious when I put my mind to a task – be it programming, projects, or photography. I have worked very hard over the years to show and inspire others who feel their dreams are daunting. Who feel like they have mountains to climb compared to hills others simply skip up, regardless of talent. Who have to constantly fight off the entitlement others feel to what they’ve worked so hard to achieve.
So winning the 2018 Travel Photographer of the Year award means a lot to me on so many levels. Just looking at the list of past winners over the years is an inspiring group to be a part of.
Will winning this prestigious honor change anything career-wise?
I’m not sure but I certainly hope so. Because I’m personally done chasing partnerships who don’t see the value in my work. I detailed those feelings earlier this year in an emotional post called Pursuing truths and thoughts on permission.
And if there’s one thing I do hope winning this amazing award changes… I sincerely hope it inspires people who are actively pursuing their own dreams, swimming against rough tides, and having to justify their existence in an industry seemingly reserved for others, to no longer metaphorically wait for permission.
Thank you to SATW and the Bill Muster Awards for this profound honour of being named 2018 Travel Photographer of the Year. I am deeply moved. Here are the winning images broken down by category.
View more images in my bank
In addition to my photographs which are sold through the exclusive National Geographic Creative image collection, I also maintain an image bank of photographs from 60+ countries which is an ongoing work-in-progress and continually updated with both new and old photos which you can view. Click on the image below to launch my image bank.