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It’s a weird time right as we are all stuck in doors socially isolating ourselves, worried about the Corona Virus and doing our part to flatten the curve. As everyone is being told to keep distance from another another, many small business owners like myself are worried about what will happen on so many levels, especially our businesses and how we will support our families during this time. As someone who tries to keep positive I am trying to keep hopeful and use this time to work on things of my business that I don’t usually have the time to do.

So in light of all this doom and gloom that is happening right now, I was overjoyed yesterday to see that four of my image won a Bronze award in the 2019 Portrait Masters awards, run by Sue Bryce. As a die hard fan of Sue’s and the community she has built around her teachings this news left me glowing all day and I am so proud to share this good news! And before I get into more about these awards I want to thank the women in these winning photos! Jasmine, Meagan, Lisa & Little Amelia and mama Stacy, THANK YOU SO MUCH for choosing me as your photographer to co-create art with you! I can’t create art without amazing clients, so thank you so much for trusting me to photograph you all in such intimate ways.

I heard about Sue Bryce through Creative Live when I first started my photography business and I fell in love with her right away as she’s a darn good educator! Weddings ended up becoming the main focus of my business, and while I loved Sue when I found her I didn’t dig deep into her teachings at that time. Two years ago I started to think about getting back to what really drove me to want to be a photographer, which was fine art portraiture and boudoir. I signed up for Sue’s education platform and it has forever changed my photography business from techniques to personal self value to learning how to run a sustainable business. It is also thanks to Sue that I found Kara Marie, whose talk at the Portrait Masters Conference inspired me to go all in and move my business in the boudoir direction, which truth be told is what I wanted to do 5 years ago when I first started but had no clue how to shoot that genre in a way that resonated with me.

Every year Sue runs awards, where your images can place Bronze, Silver or Gold as well as some can be category winners. This year I was still unsure if my work was good enough and I kept sitting on the fence on if I should enter any of my images, and then I would go listen to Sue and think to myself don’t be silly girl – get off your butt and pull together a submission, you owe it to yourself, so that is what I did! It was three days before the deadline and I grabbed a few images that I have personally fallen in love with, which can be a problem as we are often so close to our work that we don’t see things that might not be technically right. I am so glad I submitted my images this year, as this is all part of the learning process and while seeing images place makes you feel amazing, it’s also a good process as a artist to go through.

Two of the images are boudoir images, one is a maternity image and shot very much how I would shoot when in a boudoir session, and one image is of a lovely little girl I have had the honour of photographing for the last three years, this was the first time in studio though! Having my photos place with a Bronze has left me so over the moon, and solidified that moving towards more studio work is where I really want to be, especially shooting boudoir!

I want to thank Sue and her team for all they do, running this competition, having the best supportive online community, and to Sue for pouring so much love into her teachings. Thank you for these Bronze Portrait Masters Awards, I will show them off with so much love and pride!

Michele Mateus is an Award Winning Vancouver Boudoir Photographer.

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