Congratulations to Mike Lefebvre of Sherborn, MA whom the jury voted the PFRE Photographer of the Month for July! This is Mike's first win!
Here are the entries that the jurors awarded points to this month:
I want to point out a couple of contest housekeeping items:
Here are Michael's comments:
Thank you. What an incredible honor! It means the world to me to get recognized by such a respected group of peers.
I vividly remember in late 2010, when I was still just SELLING real estate and only starting to dabble in the photography side of it, I came across a blog post from Malia Campbell who had teamed up with Scott Hargis and Larry Lohrman to announce a contest for beginning real estate photographers. Up for grabs to the winners were copies of both Scott's book and Larry's two books. On a whim, I submitted a handheld shot of my own house taken with my trusty Kodak v705 (a dual lens UFWA point-and-shoot beast!) along with my story. As luck would have it (because SKILL certainly wasn't involved at that point), I was named one of the six winners. Overwhelmed, but with a newly lit fire burning fiercely in my belly, I dove head first into the materials and haven't looked back since. What a ride it's been!
Thanks to all the jurors and fellow contestants. The submissions are ridiculously inspiring each month! Thanks to all the members of the PFRE community who generously gave of their time and expertise over the years when I would continually pester them with what must have been maddening, unsolicited rookie questions. And special thanks to my coach, mentor and good friend Tony Colangelo. Tony's guidance and teaching have been instrumental in my growth. He taught me (1) to embrace my inner moodiness, (2) that "shadows are our friends", and (3) to simply "like what I like" regardless of whether or not it was a style that was in vogue. Winning one of these POTM contests was actually a specific goal I verbalized with Tony in our coaching, so it's really cool to be able to check that one off the list and move on to the next!
This shot was taken for a real estate agent and I was psyched to get a chance to shoot something a little different with a healthy dose of character. While doing my preliminary walk-through, this image immediately jumped out at me. Knowing that at any moment the light might change, I started in the master bathroom, which I rarely do. I found a hand towel in the linen closet, opened the window to help create a more ethereal mood, removed a TON of clutter, tucked myself way into the corner, crouched uncomfortably under the sloping roof line, set the composition and began shooting ambient brackets. The walls and ceiling are mostly all wood in this room, so I shot a single flash frame (full or maybe 1/2 power through a white umbrella camera right) to add a little light to the tile on the tub surround and right side of the vanity. This image is mainly a blending of all the best parts of a few ambient frames with a kiss of the flash frame thrown in. I did my standard WB, contrast, shadows/highlights, sharpness fixes in ACR, straightened and cleaned it up in PS and finished it with a touch of Color Efex Pro and Viveza in Nik.
The ambient light certainly did the lion's share of the work on this shot. I took a wide range of exposures to have enough pixels for compositing and knew not to try and mess with it too much in the post.
Thanks again! I plan to recklessly blow all the prize money on some fancy new gear and a delicious bottle of bourbon!
Wait... what?!?!? :)"