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For the second consecutive year Karen McKinnon of McKinnon Photography received two prestigious accolades from her professional photographers community, via the Professional Photographer of Canada BC region (PPOC-BC).
At the annual awards she earned the Best in Class trophy in the Wedding Portrait category and was a finalist for Photographer of the Year.
Submitted images go through a rigorous judging process. In order to qualify, all of her images had to be accepted and qualify under two different categories.
"I was over the moon to be a finalist for PPOC-BC Photographer of the Year for the second year running," said McKinnon.
Some photographers create images just for competition but McKinnon prefers to submit images that were created for clients.
"These are the images that are true to me as a photographic artist, that represent my eye and the work I do on a regular basis. I feel really proud that the images that brought me success in these awards were all created this year, for clients who come from our community."
The process of choosing what images to enter is not an easy decision.
"I have emotional connections to the experience of creating my photos. I remember the subject, the intention of the session, the laughs we shared, and how they impacted me. So it is hard to separate that."
Ultimately McKinnon went with a boudoir photograph created at the Kingfisher Resort, a character study for a local actor, an image of a young boy that was made outside her studio, and a wedding image from Crown Isle resort.
The year has gotten off to an exciting start for McKinnon. Last month, her office manager Christine Morgan was a finalist for the Chamber of Commerce Customer Service award.
"We were chosen as Small Business of the Year in 2008, and felt so honoured," McKinnon said. "This time it was so nice to see Christine recognized. Those that have had the pleasure of working with her know that she is so authentic in her care. She goes over and above, because she really adores what we do and the people we do it for."
As, well, McKinnon has joined forces with local photographer Boomer Jerritt to offer workshops that offer the combined skills of these two experienced teachers. These are already selling out.
Winning accolades doesn't stop McKinnon from keeping busy photographing families, children, boudoir and business portraits, and developing new offerings for her clients.
"We've just introduced a new type of session called itty-bittys. These are short little mini-sessions (and therefore have a mini-price). They are perfect for those that want to add to their existing photo collection, have some photos created for gifts or those that have been wishing to have a session with us but don't quite need the full experience."
About entering her 12th year as a photographer in the Comox Valley, McKinnon said: "My dream is to keep doing what I am doing, which is working with amazing people, creating connections, learning and having a great time."