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Congratulations - March 2018 PFRE Photographer of The Month

Published: 24/03/2018

 Another PFRE Photographer of the Month contest is in the bag, and it did not disappoint. This kitchen themed contest had a total of 44 entries from 7 different countries. As usual, we would like to thank everyone who participated, and the Jurors who took time out of their busy schedules to contribute their votes and thoughtful commentary.

Congratulations to Michael Lefebvre from Barrington, Rhode Island. PFRE Photographer of the Month, March 2018.

  1. Michael Lefebvre - #40
  2. Whit Richardson - #21
  3. Garey Gomez - #31
  4. Kurt Lai #39
  5. Julie Legge - #27
  6. Justin Jordan - #38
  7. Gary Kasl - #32
  8. Tim Krueger - #8
  9. Matt Davis - #42
  10. James Noud - #6
  11. Stephen Reed - #36

Please feel free to comment on any of this months entries here

Here's what Michael has to say about the win:

What an honor! Getting the news that I won another POTM, and in the illustrious kitchen category no less, certainly made my day/week/month/year! Killer collection of entries as usual. Thanks to all the other photographers. You keep posting insanely great work and it pushes me to do the same. Love setting the bar so high with all of you! Thanks to the volunteer judges. Your insightful comments and feedback have been indispensable in my own growth and development, as well as many others I’m sure.

In particular, Hamish hit on something key in his comment on my photo this month--authenticity. As I was preparing for the contest this month, I had two images I was working up and trying to decide which one to enter. The first was a drop-dead gorgeous, luxurious designer kitchen with custom handcrafted cabinets, professional grade appliances, Carrara marble counters, transom windows, ridiculous lighting, styled to the nines, etc... just breathtaking all around. The kitchen probably cost more than my home. The second image was the one I entered. I got both of them looking pretty good but the second one just kept speaking to me. It wasn’t nearly as fancy, but it felt like “me.” The finished photo wasn’t even as technically good as the first one, but I kept going back to it. It felt right. It felt more honest and true to myself than the other one. Overall, it just felt more authentic. So when Hamish said he noticed a “real authenticity” in the shot, he confirmed what I was feeling in my gut from the beginning. Thanks, man!

This was shot for a real estate agent, and like my master bath shot last year, it’s mostly all ambient layers blended. With so much wood everywhere (walls, ceiling, floor...) and nothing white to bounce off, I tried a shoot through umbrella and bouncing off some white reflectors I brought, but in the end I just took the best parts I needed from a handful of ambient shots. I tried my best to really respect the natural light pouring in from that window over the sink. I definitely left some areas borderline uncomfortably dark, but I loved the mood it created. A flash frame would have certainly cleaned up that hallway junk though! Once I got the layers blended the way I wanted, it was basic fixes in ACR and PS and a little finishing sauce in Nik.My big takeaway this month is “you do you, Mike”. I’m going to be sure to keep authenticity top of mind going forward. Thanks to everyone for your encouragement and feedback! See ya’ll in the master bedroom next month! How often do you get to close with that line without getting slapped?!?


Brandon Cooper

12 comments on “Congratulations - March 2018 PFRE Photographer of The Month”

  1. Congratulations, Michael! Such a great shot. Your work is very eye-opening to me. Makes me think about my own in a different way. Which is an awesome thing. So thank you for the inspiration!

  2. Michael,

    Congratulations on your well deserved win!!!! You prove that images don't have to be overlit and that one can embrace the shadows! I have found that even if I have to light a space I always go back and add the appropriate shadows etc. Its all about controlling the light in our images and you have executed that wonderfully. Great job!!!



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