I love CPOY. I only have been attending for two years, but I love the process and the educational value of it. I truly believe that I have grown as a photojournalist attending the judging.

But, recently on Facebook the idea of where the line is drawn between aesthetics and style with photojournalism. The Danish School of Journalism, like many other European institutions, prides itself on aesthetics, framing and art versus caption information and news value. They are brilliant at what they do, but it is frustrating as a working photojournalist to see aesthetics versus journalistic work.

I had the very humbling experience of watching my sports feature photo get to the quarter finals, not get talked about, then get booted haha. I, being a horrifically competitive person, was flat-out grumpy when I saw it get out. However, that is how these competitions go. It was important for me to realize that it being voted out does not change the fact that it is still a decent photograph that has a proper place in my portfolio. It does not change the fact that it beat out at least 600 images. It doesn’t make me any less of a sports photojournalist. Overall, it was a good experience to see my photo up on the projection.

But, it is always humbling seeing incredible storytelling in the picture story categories. Kayla’s stories were beautiful and all I would love to shoot for in my career. It is inspiring to get out there and do great work.