NAPfS 2018 Digital Photographer of the Year – Patti Mitchell

Congratulations to the 2018 NAPfS Digital Photographer of the Year, Patti Mitchell!

To earn this title, the photographer selected must first be a member in good standing in the club. Then, they have to accumulate the highest number of overall points in the club’s monthly digital photography competitions.

Every month’s competition has a theme, and club members gain points for entering, as well as placing, at the first, second, third, and honorable mention award levels. Although there are two different category skill levels for submissions (in 2019 there will be three), the Photographer of the Year can come from any skill level. It’s all about the total points!

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About the 2018 NAPfS Photographer of the Year:

Patti Mitchell has been a member of the North Austin Pfotographic Society for nearly two years, and was also the 2017 Photographer of the Year winner. Her consistent execution of excellent composition, innovative subject matter, technical execution, and pure emotional expression has served her well in placing often and in the upper echelons of competition.

An experienced photographer, Patti travels the globe, with camera in hand, and we feel fortunate that we get to share in her talent. Below is a gallery of her 2018 images.

Here is what she shared when asked about her photographic journey (directly quoted):

“Photography has had a huge impact on the direction my life.  Looking back on my life, it seems to have been the universe’s vehicle for getting me back on track.  Because of photography, I switched my college major from biology to art and became an art teacher.  Because of it, later I was of value to the musicians whose music I loved and ended up doing album covers, publicity shots, documenting their recording sessions, and working for national guitar magazines.  All that led me to discover Austin, the music capital of the world, and I moved here in the late 90’s.

Now that I’m retired and traveling as much as I can, I’ve been getting into bird and wildlife photography.  Not purposefully aiming for it, I’ve photographed 9 different species of wild cats in 2018 – lions, cheetahs, leopards, jaguars, an ocelot, pumas, a bobcat, tigers, and a jungle cat – all in the wild.  I have a lot of interests but photographing is a passion.
My strength as a photographer is on the aesthetic side.  I still feel lacking on the technical side.  I was very fortunate to discover NAPfS a couple of years ago.  The club is a great means for continued growth. The competitions and critiques have pushed me to become a better photographer and the members are a great resource for learning the technical aspects I lack.  In addition, there are the speakers and workshops to learn from.  Decent equipment is helpful but I feel composition is even more important.  (It was a hand-me-down Konica from my dad that got me my 1st big album cover beating out a photography school graduate who had $10,000+ of equipment AND an assistant.)  Shooting a lot helps but it’s important to look at and analyze the photos you’ve taken.  I’ve learned more from my mistakes than my successes. Studying photographs of others inspires me and reminds me that I still have a long way to go. “~ Patti Mitchell

The outgoing 2018 officers and the incoming 2019 team congratulates Patti for an outstanding portfolio of images. Thank you for being such a strong contributor to the club, and an inspiration to all who see your work! Your talent, creativity, and photographic eye represents the reason why we are passionate about the North Austin Pfotographic Society – we love supporting all photographers! Thank you for sharing your work with us this year.

Patti has also generously taken on the mantel of helping to secure Programs for the 2019 year, and we all are hoping that sometime this year she will consider putting herself on the agenda, so we can get a hands-on workshop about travel photography. We have our fingers crossed that she agrees!

Remember too – you could be our 2019 Photographer of the Year, but you have to enter to win. Even if you are a beginner, you could get the recognition of your peers and fellow photags, and it’s a fun and challenging way to hone your skill and grow your body of work. To submit for the monthly contests of 2019, click here.